The QUICKI calculator measures a patient's insulin sensitivity based on their fasting insulin and glucose levels, obtained from a blood sample. QUICKI stands for Quantitative Insulin Sensitivity Check Index (which means that QUICKI index repeats the word index twice) and was developed in 2000 following a study by Katz et al. Read the article below to find out more about insulin sensitivity index, what does insulin resistance mean, and what are health consequences associated with it.
If you're looking for more sources on diabetes and insulin resistance, try also:
- HOMA-IR calculator;
- Diabetes risk calculator; and
- Hemoglobin A1c calculator.
We try our best to make our Omni Calculators as precise and reliable as possible. However, this tool can never replace professional medical advice.
Insulin sensitivity is the opposite of insulin resistance. Insulin sensitivity indicates how sensitive the body's cells are when they respond to insulin, where:
- High insulin sensitivity allows the cells of the body to use blood glucose more effectively and reduces blood sugar; and
- Low insulin sensitivity is associated with high blood sugar levels, as cells don't absorb the amount of glucose they should.
Insulin sensitivity may vary between people and can change depending on their lifestyle and dietary factors. Increasing insulin sensitivity can benefit people who have, or are, at risk of type 2 diabetes.
What does insulin resistance mean?
Insulin resistance occurs when the cells of the body don't properly respond to the hormone insulin. It is associated with low insulin sensitivity, which is characterized by human body producing more insulin than usual as a way to get the cells to respond correctly.
Initially, insulin resistance is does not present any symptoms, but over time, when the blood sugar levels go up, the following symptoms may occur:
- Difficulty in concentrating;
- Weight gain;
- High blood pressure; and
- High cholesterol levels.
Insulin resistance, if untreated, develops into prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, which is associated with increased blood glucose levels and other symptoms.
Risk factors of low insulin sensitivity/insulin resistance include:
- High calorie diet;
- Physical inactivity;
- Hormonal disorders (e.g. Cushing’s syndrome);
- Taking specific medication (e.g. steroids); and
- Chronic stress.
Now that you know what does insulin resistance mean, let's move to the QUICKI index (sorry force of habit) that was developed Katz et al. and described in the paper Quantitative Insulin Sensitivity Check Index: A Simple, Accurate Method for Assessing Insulin Sensitivity In Humans. It's a simple and accurate method that assesses insulin sensitivity. You can use it interchangeably with the more complicated "gold standard" methods: glucose clamp and minimal model analysis.
Katz defines the insulin sensitivity index (QUICKI index) as the inverse of the sum of the logarithms of fasting insulin and fasting glucose:
QUICKI = 1 / [log(FI) + log(FG)]
FIis the fasting insulin expressed in
FGis the fasting glucose expressed in
logis the common logarithm with base 10.
Insulin sensitivity index - interpretation
So, when you have the QUICKI index in front of you, you'd probably like to know what the result means:
- QUICKI index ranges from 0.45 in healthy individuals to 0.30 in people with diabetes;
- Lower values indicate greater insulin resistance; and
- Values below 0.339 indicate insulin resistance which is associated with obesity and increased cardiovascular diseases - CVD risk.
To use QUICKI calculator you need only two values:
- Fasting glucose level (you can switch between mg/dL and mmol/L units); and
- Fasting insulin level (which is expressed in µU/ml).
Let's calculate the QUICKI index of a person with a fasting glucose level equal to 103 mg/dL and fasting insulin level of 15 µU/ml.
QUICKI = 1 / [log(FI) + log(FG)]
QUICKI = 1 / [log(15) + log(103)]
QUICKI = 1 / [1.176 + 2.013]
QUICKI = 1 / 3.189
QUICKI = 0.313
Which is less than 0.339. The result of QUICKI index indicates that this person has insulin resistance.