Background: Familial combined hyperlipidaemia (FCHL) is a common hereditary disorder. Hypertriglyceridaemia is associated with glucose intolerance and insulin resistance.
Methods: To study glucose tolerance in FCHL patients with different lipid phenotypes [hypercholesterolaemia (IIA), mixed hyperlipidaemia (IIB), hypertriglyceridaemia (IV)], we investigated 253 family members and 92 spouses arising from 33 well-defined Finnish FCHL pedigrees.
Results: In oral glucose tolerance tests the affected family members had higher values for glucose area under the curve than did non-affected family members [673+/-127 min mmolL(-1), 754+/-145 min mmol L(-1), 846+/-180 min mmol L(-1) and 838+/-183 min mmol L(-1) for phenotypes normal, IIA, IIB and IV respectively; P < 0.001 after adjustment for body mass index, waist circumference and age]. Impaired glucose tolerance and diabetes were more common among affected than non-affected family members (prevalences of normal glucose tolerance 94.0%, 80.0%, 54.3% and 58.5% for phenotypes normal, IIA, IIB and IV).
Conclusion: Affected FCHL family members were more glucose intolerant than non-affected family members. In men, this disturbance was not related to lipid phenotype nor was it explained by obesity.