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Diabetes Care. 2000 Dec;23(12):1830-4.

Postchallenge plasma glucose and glycemic spikes are more strongly associated with atherosclerosis than fasting glucose or HbA1c level.

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  • 1Institute for Clinical Metabolic Research, Technical Univeristy Dresden, Germany.



To observe the relationship of fasting plasma glucose (FPG), postchallenge plasma glucose (PG) (30, 60, 90, and 120 min during an oral glucose tolerance test [OGTT], as well as maximal PG during an OGTT, postchallenge glucose spikes [PGS], and glucose under the OGTT curve), and HbA1c to intima-media thickness (IMT) as a marker of atherosclerosis.


OGTT, ultrasound measurement of carotid IMT, and various atherosclerosis risk factors, such as family history of diabetes, obesity, and/or hyperlipoproteinemia, but without known diabetes, were analyzed in 582 individuals aged 40-70 years and at risk for type 2 diabetes.


In univariate analysis, all examined glycemic parameters were significantly correlated to IMT. The 2-h postchallenge plasma glucose showed the strongest odds ratio (OR) of 1.88 (1.34-2.63) in relation to abnormal IMT. All PG variables, except for 30-min glucose in OGTT, showed a significant OR, whereas the OR for HbA1c and FPG was not significant. In logistic regression analysis, 2-h PG was identified as the strongest determinant of IMT from all glycemic parameters. The 2-h PG and PGS, but not FPG, were associated with a significant rise of IMT in tertiles of HbA1c. Glycemic parameters were strongly related to each other and to many atherosclerosis risk factors. In multivariate analysis including a variety of atherosclerosis risk factors, 2-h PG was a significant independent determinant of IMT.


PG and PGS are more strongly associated with carotid IMT than FPG and HbA1c level and modify substantially the risk for atherosclerosis, estimated by HbA1c alone, in a cohort at risk for diabetes and in the early diabetes stage.

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