Investigation of insulin resistance in narcoleptic patients: dependent or independent of body mass index?


First published in Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment on 2011
Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2011;7:351-6. doi: 10.2147/NDT.S18455.

Authors: Engel A, Helfrich J, Manderscheid N, Musholt PB, Forst T, Pfützner A, Dahmen N



Narcolepsy is a severe sleep-wake cycle disorder resulting in most cases from a lack of orexin, the energy balance-regulating hormone. Narcoleptic patients have been reported to suffer from an excess morbidity of Type 2 diabetes, even after correction for their often elevated body mass index.


To explore whether narcolepsy is specifically associated with a propensity to develop insulin resistance, we measured fasting glucose, insulin, and intact proinsulin levels in 43 narcoleptic patients and 47 controls matched for body mass index and age. The proinsulin-to-insulin ratio was calculated. Insulin resistance was determined using the homeostatic model assessment method.


Narcoleptic patients did not show elevated insulin resistance parameters.


In contrast with earlier reports, we found no evidence that narcolepsy specifically elevates the risk of insulin resistance (and consequently of type 2 diabetes) independently of body mass index.


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