Quantitative Approaches to Pathogenesis of Age-Related Metabolic Conditions
Accompanying the subtle but unrelenting increment in the fasting blood sugar with aging, at a rate of about 1 mg/dl per decade (Davidson, 1979), is a more profound impairment of glucose tolerance. The 2-hr blood sugar increases at least 5 mg/dl each decade of life. Thus, it is clear that with aging the tissues of the body are exposed to a steadily increasing glycemic environment. From the Whitehall study in 1980 (Fuller et al., 1980), we know that glucose intolerance is associated with increased mortality: death rate per 1000 individuals increased from 59 to 94, comparing normal with impaired intolerant individuals; in newly diagnosed diabetics (preidentified overt diabetics were eliminated from their 7.5-year observational study), mortality was 175 per 1000. The close association among hyperglycemia, glucose intolerance, and mortality justifies obtaining a deeper understanding of the pathogenesis of glucose intolerance with aging, with the hope of intervention to reduce risk.
KeywordsInsulin Resistance Insulin Sensitivity Insulin Secretion Glucose Tolerance Glucose Intolerance
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