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Diagnostic Tests 2023

HOMA-BETA and HOMA-IR: what they are for and reference valuesê

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HOMA-BETA and HOMA-IR: what they are for and reference valuesê
HOMA-BETA and HOMA-IR: what they are for and reference valuesê

The Homa Index is a measure that appears in the result of the blood test that serves to evaluate insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and pancreas activity (HOMA-BETA) and thus assist in the diagnosis of diabetes.

The word Homa means Homeostasis Assessment Model and, generally, when the results are above the reference values, it means that there is a greater chance of developing cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome or type 2 diabetes, for example.

The Homa Index must be performed after fasting for 4 to 8 hours, according to the doctor's or laboratory's guidance, it is made from the collection of a small blood sample that is sent to the laboratory for analysis and takes into account the fasting glucose concentration as well as the amount of insulin produced by the body.


Homa Index Reference Values

The normal values of the Homa Index for adults can vary according to the Body Mass Index, however, in general, the values are:

  • Homa-IR Reference Value: less than 3, 4;
  • Homa-Beta Reference Value: between 167 and 175.

The reference values may also vary according to the laboratory in which the test was performed, in addition to being able to vary in the case of children and adolescents with a very high BMI.

How to understand the result

According to the test result, the doctor can check whether the pancreas is working properly, whether there is a risk of decompensated diabetes or the development of diabetes:

High Homa Index

When Homa Index values are higher than the reference, it may be indicative of:

  • Insulin resistance;
  • Malfunction of pancreas cells;
  • Increased risk of type 2 diabetes;
  • Increased risk of metabolic syndrome;
  • Decompensated diabetes;
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis.

Usually, in these situations it is possible that the person is at greater risk of having changes in cholesterol levels and the presence of fat in the blood vessels, which increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. Therefore, it is important that the Homa Index be evaluated by the doctor taking into account the results of other tests that have been requested.

To know your risk of developing cardiovascular problems, use the following calculator:

What does Low Homa-Beta Index mean

When the Homa-beta Index values are below the reference value, it is indicative that the pancreas cells are not functioning properly, so there is not enough insulin being produced, which can result in an increase in of blood glucose.

How to calculate the Homa Index

The Homa Index is determined through mathematical formulas that are related to the amount of sugar in the blood and the amount of insulin produced by the body, and calculations include:

  • Formula to assess insulin resistance - Homa-IR: [(Glycemia (mg/dL) x 0.0555) x Insulin (ui/ml)] รท 22, 5

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