Impaired fasting glucose vs. glucose intolerance in pre-menopausal women: distinct metabolic entities and cardiovascular disease risk?

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Impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) is associated with an increased cardiovascular disease risk. Less is known about cardiovascular disease risk among subjects with impaired fasting glucose (IFG) or with combined IFG and IGT.


To compare body composition, body fat distribution, plasma glucose-insulin homeostasis and plasma lipid-lipoprotein profile between pre-menopausal women having either a normal glucose tolerance (NGT), isolated IFG, isolated IGT or combined IFG and IGT.


Three hundred and thirty-four women with NGT, 11 women with IFG, 35 women with IGT and 10 women with both IFG and IGT were studied.


Women with IFG were characterized by a higher visceral adipose tissue (AT) accumulation than women with NGT (P < 0.05). Also, they were characterized by a higher subcutaneous AT area and by higher body fat mass than NGT and IGT women (P < 0.05). However, their lipid-lipoprotein profile was comparable with that of NGT women, except for reduced HDL-cholesterol concentrations (P < 0.05). After adjustment for visceral AT, women with IFG had lower total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and apolipoprotein B (apoB) levels than the three other groups. They also had lower HDL2-cholesterol than NGT women and lower total cholesterol/HDL-cholesterol ratio than IGT women. Women with IGT showed higher triglyceride and apoB concentrations and a higher total cholesterol/HDL-cholesterol ratio than women with NGT (P < 0.05). Overall, women with combined IFG and IGT showed body fatness characteristics and alterations in their metabolic risk profile which were essentially similar to women with isolated IGT.


These results indicate that there are significant differences in anthropometric and metabolic variables between pre-menopausal women with IFG vs. IGT and that the association between body fatness-body fat distribution indices and the metabolic profile may differ between IFG and IGT women.

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