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Cardiovascular (CV) disease is associated with increased levels of glucose, but the prevalence of dysglycaemia in CV diseases is not fully known. The study examined the prevalence of unknown dysglycaemia and its association with inflammation in Caucasian patients with ischaemic vascular complications, i.e. coronary artery disease (CAD), cerebrovascular disease (CVD) and peripheral artery disease (PAD).This case-controlled study involved 149 patients (mean age 68 years) hospitalized for CAD, PAD or CVD and 59 control-subjects (CTR) free from CV-disease. The prevalence of dysglycaemia according to WHO/ADA criteria (impaired fasting glycaemia, impaired glucose tolerance or diabetes mellitus) was assessed by a 75-g oral glucose tolerance test. Inflammatory parameters were analyzed in fasting samples.Dysglycaemia was found in 49%, 55% and 57% of patients with CAD, CVD and PAD, respectively; all were significantly higher than among the controls (29%). The odds ratio (95% CI) for being dysglycaemic were 1·7 (1·04–2·77), 1·9 (1·19–3·06) and 2·0 (1·25–3·19) for CAD, CVD and PAD, respectively. Inflammatory markers (the total leucocyte count, soluble tumour necrosis factor-receptor type I, C-reactive protein) were elevated in patient groups and tended to increase with increasing blood glucose levels in all groups. The levels of the anti-inflammatory cytokine transforming growth factor-β1 and insulin-like growth factor binding protein 3 were lowered in patients with CAD and, in patients with PAD, the former was inversely related to the levels of the blood glucose.Undiagnosed dysglycaemia was common in patients with ischaemic CV manifestations regardless of vascular bed involved. Inflammation was associated in a dosage-related manner to glucose levels.