Evaluation of glucose tolerance status in patients with asthma bronchiale

J Asthma. 2009 Mar;46(2):207-9. doi: 10.1080/02770900802627302.


Background: Asthma is characterized by inflammation and airway hyperesponsiveness, which results in episodic airflow obstruction. A relationship between inflammation and insulin resistance (IR) has been previously characterized, and asthma is known to correlate with increasing IR. Thus, we tested whether patients with asthma bronchiale exhibited abnormally low glucose tolerance. The aim of this study was to compare the occurrence of impaired fasting glucose (IFG) and impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), two precursors of type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM), in patients with asthma bronchiale and paired control patients.

Patients and methods: We examined patients diagnosed with asthma bronchiale. We excluded patients taking any medications other than inhaler broncodilators, patients with a history of other systemic illness, and patients with any diabetic risk factors. Age- and sex-matched healthy volunteers were included as the control group in this study. History, physical examination, and laboratory analyses were performed for both study and control groups.

Results: Mean age of the study group was 40.3 +/- 7.8 (F/M: 32/19), and mean BMI of the study group was 26.7 +/- 2.2. Mean age of the control group was 39.5 +/- 6.7 (F/M: 25/15) and mean BMI of the control group was 26.0 +/- 2.1. Fasting blood glucose (FBG), Pg2hBG, Plasma insulin, Homeostasis Model Assessment-Insulin Resistance (HOMA IR), IFG, IGT, both IFG and IGT and (LDL) C levels were significantly higher in the asthmatic group, while HDL C levels were significantly higher in the control group.

Conclusion: Our results suggest that disturbance of the glucose metabolism caused by inflammation-induced insulin resistance may occur in asthmatic patients and that this phenomenon may increase the risk of diabetes mellitus in these individuals.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asthma / blood*
  • Asthma / complications*
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Cholesterol, HDL / blood
  • Cholesterol, LDL / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / etiology
  • Fasting / blood
  • Female
  • Glucose Intolerance / blood*
  • Glucose Intolerance / etiology*
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors


  • Blood Glucose
  • Cholesterol, HDL
  • Cholesterol, LDL
  • Insulin
  • C-Reactive Protein