James Meigs: Women with Pre-diabetes May Be at Higher Risk for Heart Disease
By: Tory Asfahani
21-JAN-2008- HealthDay reported on a study by ADA-funded researcher James Meigs, MD, MPH, and colleagues, which suggests that women with pre-diabetes are at higher risk of developing coronary heart disease than men with pre-diabetes.
Dr. Meigs, a recipient of recently-funded Career Development Award at Massachusetts General Hospital, was part of a group to study the impact of impaired fasting glucose (IFG) on heart disease in participants of the Framingham Offspring Study. Over the years the ADA has tightened its definition of IFG (also known as pre-diabetes) from fasting plasma glucose of 110-125 mg/dl in 1997, to 100-125 mg/dl in 2003.
One of the goals of Dr. Meigs and his colleagues was to determine which glucose threshold is the better predictor of heart disease. Researchers enrolled male and female Framingham offspring participants who were free of cardiovascular disease, and divided them into two categories—those that met the 1997 definition of IFG and those that met the 2003 definition.
They found that both men and women had an increased risk of developing diabetes if they met either definition of IFG. However, they were surprised to find that women were at increased risk of coronary heart disease at lower glucose levels than men, and that for any level of blood glucose women had a higher risk of developing diabetes and heart disease compared to men.
Finally, the authors write that, “Women with fasting plasma glucose 110 to 125 mg/dl had similar coronary heart disease risk compared with women with diabetes.” This suggests that, “Coronary heart disease risk in women may be elevated at a lower glucose level than for men.” (Levitsky YS, Pencina MJ, D’Agostino RB, Meigs JB, Murabito JM, Vasan RS, Fox CS: Impact of impaired fasting glucose on cardiovascular disease – The Framingham Heart Study.
Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 51(3)264-270, 2008.)
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