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Malaria Research and Treatment
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 136148, 8 pages
Research Article

Evidence of Insulin Resistance in Adult Uncomplicated Malaria: Result of a Two-Year Prospective Study

1Department of Medical Biochemistry, School of Medical Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana
2Department of Biomedical and Forensic Sciences, School of Biological Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana
3Department of Medicine, School of Medical Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
4African Institute for Mathematical Science Ghana (AIMS-Ghana), P.O. Box LG 197, Legon-Accra, Ghana

Received 28 July 2014; Revised 25 November 2014; Accepted 8 December 2014; Published 23 December 2014

Academic Editor: Clara Menéndez

Copyright © 2014 Samuel Acquah et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The study aimed at investigating the effects of adult uncomplicated malaria on insulin resistance. Fasting levels of blood glucose (FBG), glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c), and serum insulin were measured in 100 diabetics and 100 age-matched controls before and during Plasmodium falciparum malaria. Insulin resistance and beta cell function were computed by homeostatic models assessment of insulin resistance (HOMAIR) and beta cell function (HOMAB) formulae, respectively. Body mass index (BMI) was computed. At baseline, diabetics had significantly higher levels of BMI, FBG, HbA1c, and HOMAIR but lower level of HOMAB than controls. Baseline insulin levels were comparable between the two study groups. During malaria, diabetics maintained significantly higher levels of BMI, FBG, and HbA1c but lower levels of insulin and HOMAB than controls. Malaria-induced HOMAIR levels were comparable between the two study groups but higher than baseline levels. Apart from BMI and HOMAB, mean levels of all the remaining parameters increased in malaria-infected controls. In malaria-infected diabetics, significant increase was only observed for insulin and HOMAIR but not the other measured parameters. Uncomplicated malaria increased insulin resistance in diabetics and controls independent of BMI. This finding may have implications for the evolution of T2DM in malaria-endemic regions.