Impaired glucose tolerance and fasting hyperglycaemia have different characteristics

Diabet Med. 2000 Jun;17(6):433-40. doi: 10.1046/j.1464-5491.2000.00246.x.


Aims: Use of the oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) to define glucose intolerance in the general population may bias towards selection of those with insulin resistance. Beta cell function and insulin resistance markers were analysed in four groups: controls (n = 101); fasting hyperglycaemia (FH, n 45); impaired glucose tolerance; (IGT, n = 16) and those with features of both FH and IGT ('Both', n = 30).

Methods: Subjects underwent an OGTT. Plasma glucose, fasting lipid profiles, fasting, 30 and 120 min insulin were measured and beta cell function (% B) and insulin sensitivity (% S) assessed by homeostatic model assessment (HOMA) RESULTS: The FH group compared to controls had a significantly lower % B. The IGT group compared to controls had features of insulin resistance (higher body mass index (BMI), systolic blood pressure and 2 h insulin concentration). Subjects with 'both' IGT and FH had features of insulin resistance (higher BMI, systolic and diastolic blood pressure and triglyceride concentration) as well as beta cell dysfunction with a lower % B and 30 min insulin-glucose ratio compared to controls. There was a preponderance of males in this group. In all, 192 subjects' 30-min insulin concentration and incremental insulin response showed only a significantly negative correlation with fasting glucose concentration. In a linear regression analysis, a low 30-min insulin-glucose ratio was only a significant factor in the fasting glucose model. Thus, higher fasting glucose concentrations appear to be associated with beta cell dysfunction. However, HbA1 only showed a significant correlation with 120-min glucose, not fasting glucose concentration.

Conclusions: In those with milder degrees of glucose intolerance, FH is associated with beta cell dysfunction and those with IGT and a relatively 'normal' fasting glucose have features of the insulin resistance syndrome.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Glucose Intolerance / blood
  • Glucose Intolerance / classification*
  • Glucose Tolerance Test*
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / blood
  • Hyperglycemia / classification*
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Insulin Secretion
  • Islets of Langerhans / physiopathology
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reference Values


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Lipids