Impaired fasting glucose (IFG) and impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) are two risk groups for type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is characterized by both impaired insulin secretion and insulin resistance but their relative contribution to the development of hyperglycemia may differ due to heterogeneity of the disease. Combined glucose intolerance (CGI), on the other hand, seems to represent a more advanced stage of prediabetes that bears a distinctly higher risk of progression to diabetes and its comorbidities. This study has the aim to compare isolated IFG and CGI categories with respect to the degree of early phase insulin secretion abnormalities and insulin resistance. Subjects who had IFG (fasting glucose: 110-126 mg/dl) were included in the study. A 75-g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) with insulin response was done and subjects were classified according to the WHO criteria. Six subjects were excluded because they had diabetic glucose tolerance. A total of 66 patients (53.4 +/- 11.1 years, female/male: 48/18) were divided into two groups according to their glucose tolerance in OGGT (Group 1: isolated IFG and group 2: CGI). Early phase insulin secretion was measured by intravenous glucose tolerance test (IVGTT) and OGTT. Insulin resistance was assessed by the R value of the homeostasis model assessment (HOMA). We did not find any statistically significant difference between groups according to age, gender, body mass index (BMI), fasting glucose, fasting insulin, insulin-AUC (0-180 min) and HOMAR values. In OGGT there was no statistically significant difference between 0', 30', 60' and 90' insulin levels of the groups; only 120' and 180' insulin levels were higher in CGI than in IFG group (p < 0.05). In IVGTT, there was no statistically significant difference between glucose levels of the groups. Furthermore, insulin response to intravenous glucose was higher in IFG than in CGI (p < 0.05). Our data demonstrate that isolated IFG and CGI are similar with respect to the degree of insulin resistance, and that subjects with CGI had a more prominent deficit in early phases of insulin secretion.