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Diabet Med. 2001 Jul;18(7):541-5.

Skin microvascular vasodilatory capacity in offspring of two parents with Type 2 diabetes.

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Department of Diabetes and Vascular Medicine, School of Postgraduate Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK.



Microvascular dysfunction occurs in Type 2 diabetes and in subjects with fasting hyperglycaemia. It is unclear whether this dysfunction relates to dysglycaemia. This study investigated in normogylcaemic individuals whether a genetic predisposition to diabetes, or indices of insulin resistance including endothelial markers, were associated with impaired microvascular function.


Maximum microvascular hyperaemia to local heating of the skin was measured using laser Doppler flowmetry in 21 normoglycaemic subjects with no family history of diabetes (Group 1) and 21 normoglycaemic age, sex and body mass index-matched offspring of two parents with Type 2 diabetes (Group 2).


Although Group 2 had normal fasting plasma glucose and glucose tolerance tests, the 120-min glucose values were significantly higher at 6.4 (5.3-6.6) mmol/l (median (25th - 75th centile)) than the control group at 4.9 (4.6-5.9) mmol/l (P = 0.005) and the insulinogenic index was lower at 97.1 (60.9-130.8) vs. 124.0 (97.2-177.7) (P = 0.027). Skin maximum microvascular hyperaemia (Group 1: 1.56 (1.39-1.80) vs. Group 2: 1.53 (1.30-1.98) V, P = 0.99) and minimum microvascular resistance which normalizes the hyperaemia data for blood pressure (Group 1: 52.0 (43.2-67.4) vs. Group 2: 56.0 (43.7-69.6) mmHg/V, P = 0.70) did not differ in the two groups. Significant positive associations occurred between minimum microvascular resistance and indices of the insulin resistance syndrome; plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 (R(s) = 0.46, P = 0.003), t-PA (R(s) = 0.36, P = 0.03), total cholesterol (R(s) = 0.35, P = 0.02), and triglyceride concentration (R(s) = 0.35, P = 0.02), and an inverse association with insulin sensitivity (R(s) = -0.33, P = 0.03).


In normoglycaemic adults cutaneous microvascular vasodilatory capacity is associated with features of insulin resistance syndrome, particularly with plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1. A strong family history of Type 2 diabetes alone does not result in impairment in the maximum hyperaemic response. Diabet. Med. 18, 541-545 (2001)

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