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Atherosclerosis. 2008 Feb;196(2):712-9. Epub 2007 Feb 1.

Postprandial glucose and not triglyceride concentrations are associated with carotid intima media thickness in women with normal glucose metabolism: the Hoorn prandial study.

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EMGO Institute, VU University Medical Center, Van der Boechorststraat 7, 1081 BT Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


The present study aimed to compare the associations of postprandial glucose (ppGL) and postprandial triglycerides (ppTG) with carotid intima media thickness (cIMT) in women with normal glucose metabolism (NGM) and type 2 diabetes (DM2). Post-menopausal women (76 with NGM, 78 with DM2), received two consecutive fat-rich and two consecutive carbohydrate-rich meals on separate occasions. Blood samples were taken before and 1, 2, 4, 6 and 8h following breakfast; lunch was given at t=4. Ultrasound imaging of the carotid artery was performed to measure cIMT. In women with NGM, an increase of 1.0 mmol/l glucose following the fat-rich meals was associated with a 50 microm cIMT increase (p=0.04), and following the carbohydrate meals, an increase of 1.8 mmol/l glucose was associated with a 50 microm larger cIMT (p=0.08). These associations were not explained by classical cardiovascular risk factors. However, no association between ppGL and cIMT was found in women with DM2 and ppTG were not associated with cIMT. The association between ppGL and cIMT in normoglycaemic women suggests that ppGL in the normal range is a marker or a risk factor for atherosclerosis. Postprandial glucose levels might be a better indicator of risk than post-OGTT glucose levels or triglyceride levels.

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