This study determined whether sequence variations in genes related to glucose and insulin metabolism are associated with insulin sensitivity in postmenopausal women after accounting for habitual physical activity levels, body composition, and hormone-replacement therapy (HRT). Eighteen sedentary, 19 physically active, and 23 athletic postmenopausal white women underwent a frequently sampled intravenous glucose tolerance test to determine insulin sensitivity (S(I)) and dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry to determine body composition. After accounting for the effects of body composition, habitual physical activity levels, and HRT status, S(I) was 26% lower in subjects with the Thr54 fatty acid-binding protein 2 (FABP2) allele compared with Ala54 homozygotes (4.3 +/- 0.5 v 5.8 +/- 0.6 microU x 10(-4)/min/mL; P <.05). Angiotensin-converting enzyme genotype was not significantly associated with S(I). There were no significant associations between Gln27Glu beta(2)-adrenergic receptor or Pro12Ala peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma variants and glucose or insulin kinetic parameters. It was concluded that FABP2 genotype influences insulin sensitivity independent of body composition, habitual physical activity levels, and HRT status in postmenopausal white women.