Can the Molar Insulin: C-Peptide Ratio Be Used to Predict Hyperinsulinaemia?
Guildford, L; Crofts, C; Lu, J
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Hyperinsulinaemia is the precursor to numerous metabolic disorders. Early diagnosis and intervention could improve population health. Diagnosing hyperinsulinaemia is problematic because insulin has a very short half-life (2-5minutes). It is theorised that c-peptide levels (half-life 20-30minutes) would be a better proxy for insulin due to both hormones being released in equimolar amounts. However, the correlation between c-peptide and insulin levels is unknown. We aim to identify their correlation following a four-hour oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Data were obtained from records of routine medical care at St Joseph's Hospital, Chicago, IL, USA, during 1977. Two hundred and fifty-five male and female participants aged over 20 years undertook a fourhour OGTT with plasma glucose, insulin and c-peptide levels recorded. Correlation was assessed with Pearson's correlation. There was a weak correlation between insulin and c-peptide, which increased to moderate across the four-hour OGTT (r = 0.482-0.680). There was no significant change in this relationship when data was subdivided according to either the WHO glucose status or Kraft insulin response. Although there was a correlation between insulin and c-peptide, it was too weak to recommend the use of c-peptide as an alternative biomarker for the diagnosis of hyperinsulinaemia.