Addressing insulin resistance in Type 1 diabetes


Correspondences to: Dr Parth Narendran, Consultant Senior Lecturer in Diabetes, 2nd Floor, Institute of Biomedical Research, Medical School, University of Birmingham, Vincent Drive, Edgbaston, B15 2TT, UK. E-mail:


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.