Objective: To assess the relationship between dysglycemia and myocardial infarction in nondiabetic individuals.
Background: 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.
Methods: 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.
Results: 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).
Conclusions: A moderately elevated glucose level is a continuous risk factor for MI in nondiabetic South Asians with either normal or impaired glucose tolerance.