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Diabet Med. 2004 Mar;21(3):208-13.

What does postprandial hyperglycaemia mean?

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Panel Chair, Diabetes Centre, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.



The potential importance of postprandial glucose (PPG) control in the development of complications in Type 2 diabetes is much debated. The recent American Diabetes Association (ADA) consensus statement discussed the role of postprandial hyperglycaemia in the pathogenesis of diabetic complications and concluded that the relationship between PPG excursions and the well-established risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) should be further examined. Using the ADA statement as a starting point and including the more recent American College of Endocrinology guidelines on glycaemic control, a panel of experts in diabetes met to review the role of PPG within the context of the overall metabolic syndrome, in the development of complications in Type 2 diabetes.


Post-prandial hyperglycaemia is a risk indicator for micro- and macrovascular complications, not only in patients with Type 2 diabetes but also in those with impaired glucose tolerance. In addition, the metabolic syndrome confers an increased risk of CVD morbidity and mortality. The debate focused on the relative contributions of postprandial hyperglycaemia, the metabolic syndrome and, in particular, raised triglyceride levels in the postprandial state, to the development of cardiovascular complications of diabetes.


The panel recommended that in the prevention and management of microvascular complications of Type 2 diabetes, targeting both chronic and acute glucose fluctuations is necessary. Lowering the macrovascular risk also requires control of (postprandial) triglyceride levels and other components of the metabolic syndrome.

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