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Diabetes Care. 1999 Jan;22(1):45-9.

Fasting blood glucose: an underestimated risk factor for cardiovascular death. Results from a 22-year follow-up of healthy nondiabetic men.

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Medical Department, Rikshospitalet, Oslo, Norway.



Because of the available conflicting epidemiological data, we investigated the possible impact of fasting blood glucose as a risk factor for cardiovascular death in nondiabetic men. This study reports the results from a 22-year prospective study on fasting blood glucose as a predictor of cardiovascular death.


Of the 1,998 apparently healthy nondiabetic men (aged 40-59 years), a total of 1,973 with fasting blood glucose < 110 mg/dl were included in the study in which also a number of conventional risk factors were measured at baseline.


After 22 years of follow-up, 483 men had died, 53% from cardiovascular diseases. After dividing men into quartiles of fasting blood glucose level, it was found that men in the highest glucose quartile (fasting blood glucose > 85 mg/dl) had a significantly higher mortality rate from cardiovascular diseases compared with those in the three lowest quartiles. Even after adjusting for age, smoking habits, serum lipids, blood pressure, forced expiratory volume in 1 s, and physical fitness (Cox model), the relative risk of cardiovascular death for men with fasting blood glucose > 85 mg/dl remained 1.4 (95% CI 1.04-1.8). Noncardiovascular deaths were unrelated to fasting blood glucose level.


Fasting blood glucose values in the upper normal range appears to be an important independent predictor of cardiovascular death in nondiabetic apparently healthy middle-aged men.

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