Background: Patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D) are at a substantially increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Stress-induced hyperglycaemia in turn is shown to worsen the prognosis of patients suffering from an acute myocardial infarction. However, the mechanisms behind these findings are incompletely known.
Aim: To investigate whether markers of chronic inflammation, and oxidative stress respond to acute hyperglycaemia in patients with T1D.
Methods: The plasma glucose concentration was rapidly raised from 5 to 15 mmol/L in 35 males (22 men with T1D and 13 age-matched non-diabetic volunteers) and maintained for 2 h. All participants were young non-smokers without any signs of diabetic or other complications. Markers of chronic inflammation, and oxidative stress were analysed in serum/plasma samples drawn at base-line and after 120 min of hyperglycaemia.
Results: Compared to normoglycaemia, acute hyperglycaemia increased the interleukin (IL)-6 concentrations by 39% in patients with T1D (P<0.01) and 26% in healthy volunteers (P<0.05). During hyperglycaemia the superoxide dismutase concentration was increased by 17% in the healthy volunteers (P<0.01) and 5% in the patients with type 1 diabetes (P=NS). The increase in tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha was larger in patients with type 1 diabetes than in non-diabetic volunteers (35% versus -10%, P<0.05).
Conclusions: This study shows that acute hyperglycaemia induces an inflammatory response in patients with type 1 diabetes.