Quantitative Approaches to Pathogenesis of Age-Related Metabolic Conditions

  • Richard N. Bergman
Conference paper
Part of the GWUMC Department of Biochemistry Annual Spring Symposia book series (GWUN)


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.


Insulin Resistance Insulin Sensitivity Insulin Secretion Glucose Tolerance Glucose Intolerance 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard N. Bergman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiology and BiophysicsUniversity of Southern California Medical SchoolLos AngelesUSA

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