Post-prandial glucose may be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and chronic diabetic complications. We tested the hypothesis that post-prandial hyperglycaemia is common in type 2 diabetes, even among patients in apparently good glycaemic control, and that simple clinical characteristics identify subsets of diabetic patients with frequent post-prandial hyperglycaemia.Subjects and methods
Three self-assessed daily blood glucose profiles over a 1-week period, including 18 glucose readings before and 2 h after meals, were obtained from 3,284 unselected outpatients (men 51%; age 63±10 years) with non-insulin-treated type 2 diabetes mellitus attending 500 different diabetes clinics operating throughout Italy.Results
A post-prandial blood glucose value >8.89 mmol/l (160 mg/dl) was recorded at least once in 84% of patients, and 81% of patients had at least one Δglucose ≥2.22 mmol/l (40 mg/dl). Among patients with apparently good metabolic control, 38% had >40% of post-prandial blood glucose readings >8.89 mmol/l (≥4 of 9 meals in total), and 36% had >40% Δglucose ≥2.22 mmol/l. In multivariate analysis adjusted for pre-prandial glucose levels, older age, longer duration of diabetes, absence of obesity, hyperlipidaemia and hypertension, as well as treatment with sulfonylureas, were significantly associated with greater glucose excursions after meals.Conclusions/interpretation
These results indicate that post-prandial hyperglycaemia is a very frequent phenomenon in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus on active treatment; can occur even when metabolic control is apparently good; and can be predicted by simple clinical features.