Acute hyperglycemia alters von Willebrand factor but not the fibrinolytic system in elderly subjects with normal or impaired glucose tolerance

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To assess whether acute hyperglycemia affects fibrinolytic balance in elderly subjects with normal glucose tolerance (NGT) or impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), 40 non-obese elderly subjects (20 NGT, age 68 ± 8 years; and 20 IGT, age 69 ± 11 years) were studied. On two experimental days, randomly allocated and spaced 1 week apart, plasma concentrations of glucose, insulin, fibrinogen, tissue plasminogen activator, plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 and von Willebrand factor (vWF) were measured in each subject at baseline (0) and 30, 60, 90, 120 min after the ingestion of 75 g glucose or a similarly sweet dose of aspartame (250 mg) (control test). In both NGT and IGT elderly subjects, tissue plasminogen activator, plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 and fibrinogen plasma levels did not significantly change after both oral aspartame and glucose load. In IGT subjects, vWF plasmatic levels decreased after glucose (not aspartame) oral load, reaching the minimum level at 90 min after load (82.7 ± 7.8 versus 93.7 ± 10.2, P< 0.01). These results demonstrate that acute hyperglycemia does not modify plasma fibrinolysis in elderly subjects. The decrease of plasma concentration of vWF in IGT elderly subjects requires cautious interpretation and further extensive investigations.

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