Insulin Resistance a Risk Factor for Cognitive Problems in Fibromyalgia

Insulin resistance possible risk factor for cognitive impairment in fibromialgic patients.

By Antonietta Fava, et al.


To evaluate glucose metabolism and/or insulin resistance (IR) in 96 patients with Fibromyalgia (FM), associated or not to cognitive impairment. We investigated glucose metabolism in 96 FM patients.

Enrolled patients were divided into two groups: 48 patients with memory deficit (group A) and 48 without memory deficit (control group). We evaluated glucose and insulin levels after a 2  h-Oral-Glucose-Tolerance-Test (2  h-OGTT) and insulin resistance (IR) by the homeostasis model assessment formula (HOMA).

  • Body Mass Index (BMI), waist-to-hip-ratio (WHR), anxiety level, fasting plasma insulin and Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory agents use were higher in patients with FM with memory impairment;

  • while age, sex, waist circumference, education level, fasting plasma glucose, glycate hemoglobin, triglycerides, blood lipid profile, C- Reactivity-Protein (CRP), blood pressure and smoking habits were similar in both groups.

  • Following OGTT the prevalence of glucose metabolism abnormalities was significantly higher in group A.

  • IR was present in 79% patients, of whom 23% had also impaired glucose tolerance, 4% newly diagnosed diabetes mellitus and 52% IR only.

  • Obesity and overweight prevailed in group A. IR, but not BMI or WHR was associated to an increased risk of memory impairment (OR = 2,6; 95% CI: 1,22-3,7).

The results of this study suggest that IR may represent a risk factor for memory impairment in fibromialgic patients.

Source: Metabolic Brain Disease, July 28, 2013. By Antonietta Fava, Massimiliano Plastino, Dario Cristiano, Antonio Spanò, Stefano Cristofaro, Carlo Opipari, Antonio Chillà, Fatima Casalinuovo, Carmen Colica, Matteo De Bartolo, Domenico Pirritano and Domenico Bosco.  Endocrinology, Fondazione UALSI, Catanzaro, 88100, Italy.

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