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J Am Coll Cardiol. 1999 Mar;33(3):612-9.

Relationship of glucose and insulin levels to the risk of myocardial infarction: a case-control study.

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Preventive Cardiology and Therapeutics Research Program, Hamilton Civic Hospitals Research Centre, McMaster University, Ontario, Canada.



To assess the relationship between dysglycemia and myocardial infarction in nondiabetic individuals.


Nondiabetic hyperglycemia may be an important cardiac risk factor. The relationship between myocardial infarction and glucose, insulin, abdominal obesity, lipids and hypertension was therefore studied in South Asians-a group at high risk for coronary heart disease and diabetes.


Demographics, waist/hip ratio, fasting blood glucose (FBG), insulin, lipids and glucose tolerance were measured in 300 consecutive patients with a first myocardial infarction and 300 matched controls.


Cases were more likely to have diabetes (OR 5.49; 95% CI 3.34, 9.01), impaired glucose tolerance (OR 4.08; 95% CI 2.31, 7.20) or impaired fasting glucose (OR 3.22; 95% CI 1.51, 6.85) than controls. Cases were 3.4 (95% CI 1.9, 5.8) and 6.0 (95% CI 3.3, 10.9) times more likely to have an FBG in the third and fourth quartile (5.2-6.3 and >6.3 mmol/1); after removing subjects with diabetes, impaired glucose tolerance and impaired fasting glucose, cases were 2.7 times (95% CI 1.5-4.8) more likely to have an FBG >5.2 mmol/l. A fasting glucose of 4.9 mmol/l best distinguished cases from controls (OR 3.42; 95% CI 2.42, 4.83). Glucose, abdominal obesity, lipids, hypertension and smoking were independent multivariate risk factors for myocardial infarction. In subjects without glucose intolerance, a 1.2 mmol/l (21 mg/dl) increase in postprandial glucose was independently associated with an increase in the odds of a myocardial infarction of 1.58 (95% CI 1.18, 2.12).


A moderately elevated glucose level is a continuous risk factor for MI in nondiabetic South Asians with either normal or impaired glucose tolerance.

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