Delayed Gastric Emptying Is Associated With Early and Long-term Hyperglycemia in Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus

Gastroenterology. 2015 Aug;149(2):330-9. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2015.05.007. Epub 2015 May 14.


Background & aims: After the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT), the Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications (EDIC) study continued to show persistent benefit of prior intensive therapy on neuropathy, retinopathy, and nephropathy in type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM). The relationship between control of glycemia and gastric emptying (GE) is unclear.

Methods: We assessed GE with a (13)C-spirulina breath test and symptoms in 78 participants with type 1 diabetes at year 20 of EDIC. The relationship between delayed GE and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), complications of DM, and gastrointestinal symptoms were evaluated.

Results: GE was normal (37 participants; 50%), delayed (35 participants; 47%), or rapid (2 participants; 3%). The latest mean HbA1c was 7.7%. In univariate analyses, delayed GE was associated with greater DCCT baseline HbA1c and duration of DM before DCCT (P ≤ .04), greater mean HbA1c over an average of 27 years of follow-up evaluation (during DCCT-EDIC, P = .01), lower R-R variability during deep breathing (P = .03) and severe nephropathy (P = .05), and a greater composite upper gastrointestinal symptom score (P < .05). In multivariate models, retinopathy was the only complication of DM associated with delayed GE. Separately, DCCT baseline HbA1c (odds ratio [OR], 1.6; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1-2.3) and duration of DM (OR, 1.2; 95% CI, 1.01-1.3) before DCCT entry and mean HbA1c during DCCT-EDIC (OR, 2.2; 95% CI, 1.04-4.5) were associated independently with delayed GE.

Conclusions: In the DCCT/EDIC study, delayed GE was remarkably common and associated with gastrointestinal symptoms and with measures of early and long-term hyperglycemia. numbers NCT00360815 and NCT00360893.

Keywords: Diabetic Gastroparesis; Glycemic Control; HbA1c; Neuropathy.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications*
  • Female
  • Gastric Emptying*
  • Gastroparesis / epidemiology*
  • Gastroparesis / etiology
  • Glycated Hemoglobin / analysis
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A

Associated data