The Shape of the Glucose Response Curve During an Oral Glucose Tolerance Test: Forerunner of Heightened Glycemic Failure Rates and Accelerated Decline in β-Cell Function in TODAY

Diabetes Care. 2019 Jan;42(1):164-172. doi: 10.2337/dc18-1122. Epub 2018 Nov 19.


Objective: Obese youth without diabetes with monophasic oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) glucose response curves have lower insulin sensitivity and impaired β-cell function compared with those with biphasic curves. The OGTT glucose response curve has not been studied in youth-onset type 2 diabetes. Here we test the hypothesis that the OGTT glucose response curve at randomization in youth in the TODAY (Treatment Options for Type 2 Diabetes in Adolescents and Youth) study forecasts heightened glycemic failure rates and accelerated decline in β-cell function.

Research design and methods: OGTTs (n = 662) performed at randomization were categorized as monophasic, biphasic, or incessant increase. Demographics, insulin sensitivity (1/fasting insulin), C-peptide index (△C30/△G30), and β-cell function relative to insulin sensitivity (oral disposition index [oDI]) were compared among the three groups.

Results: At randomization, 21.7% had incessant increase, 68.6% monophasic, and 9.7% biphasic glucose response curves. The incessant increase group had similar insulin sensitivity but significantly lower C-peptide index and lower oDI, despite similar diabetes duration, compared with the other two groups. Glycemic failure rates were higher in the incessant increase group (58.3%) versus the monophasic group (42.3%) versus the biphasic group (39.1%) (P < 0.0001). The 6-month decline in C-peptide index (32.8% vs. 18.1% vs. 13.2%) and oDI (32.2% vs. 11.6% vs. 9.1%) was greatest in incessant increase versus monophasic and biphasic with no difference in insulin sensitivity.

Conclusions: In the TODAY study cohort, an incessant increase in the OGTT glucose response curve at randomization reflects reduced β-cell function and foretells increased glycemic failure rates with accelerated deterioration in β-cell function independent of diabetes duration and treatment assignment compared with monophasic and biphasic curves. The shape of the OGTT glucose response curve could be a metabolic biomarker prognosticating the response to therapy in youth with type 2 diabetes.

Trial registration: NCT00081328.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • C-Peptide / blood
  • Child
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Fasting
  • Female
  • Glucose Tolerance Test*
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / metabolism*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Obesity / blood


  • Blood Glucose
  • C-Peptide
  • Insulin

Associated data