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Keywords:

  • complications;
  • insulin resistance;
  • meta-analysis;
  • metformin;
  • Type 1 diabetes

Abstract

Type 1 diabetes is recognised to include an element of insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is an independent risk factor for the development of macro- and microvascular complications of Type 1 diabetes and may also contribute to the development of the disease. This understanding comes at a time when the incidence of Type 1 diabetes appears to be rising and the public health burden from its vascular complications is high. A variety of safe and efficacious manoeuvres are available to redress insulin resistance in Type 2 diabetes. So far however, clinical trials addressing insulin resistance in Type 1 diabetes have been small with only short periods of follow-up. Regardless, these trials have yielded promising results. This review examines the evidence for insulin resistance in the pathophysiology of Type 1 diabetes and its complications, the problems associated with its measurement, and summarizes the trials aimed at reducing insulin resistance in Type 1 diabetes. This includes a meta-analysis of controlled trials of adjuvant metformin in Type 1 diabetes.