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Fasting Glucose Levels Related to Exercise Capacity

Patients with diabetes and elevated fasting blood sugars have less capacity to exercise. Previous studies have demonstrated reduced exercise capacity in patients with diabetes mellitus. This study evaluated the relationship between fasting blood glucose (FBG) levels and exercise capacity in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD).
The study evaluated 986 consecutive patients with CAD referred for bicycle spiroergometry combined with gated myocardial perfusion imaging. Maximum oxygen consumption (V?O2max) and maximal watts were measured. Patients were divided into 4 FBG categories: <100 mg/dL (n = 611), 100 to 109 mg/dL (n = 144), 110 to 125 mg/dL (n = 102), and =126 mg/dL (n = 129). Differences in clinical characteristics, exercise hemodynamics, perfusion imaging, and univariate as well as multivariate predictors of exercise capacity were determined.

The results showed that maximal watts and V?O2max were significantly lower (P < .0001) in patients with higher FBG levels and were related to FBG values in univariate and multivariate analyses. Left ventricular volumes and ejection fractions did not differ between the FBG categories. Myocardial perfusion imaging showed a comparable degree of ischemia in the 4 FBG groups. However, patients with higher FBG levels had higher heart rate and blood pressure values at rest resulting in a higher rate-pressure product (values in the 4 FBG groups 8299 ± 2051, 8733 ± 2008, 9558 ± 2583, and 9588 ± 2468 beat/min × mm Hg, P < .0001), suggesting increased myocardial oxygen consumption per unit time at rest.

From the results it was concluded that Exercise capacity in patients with CAD is related to FBG levels. Patients with impaired fasting glucose or an FBG level =126 mg/dL reached lower peak watts and lower V?O2max values. This could be attributed to a higher myocardial oxygen consumption per unit time at rest and the inability to adapt their coronary flow adequately to higher metabolic demands during maximal exercise.

American Heart Journal Volume 152, Issue 3 , September 2006, Pages 486-492


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