Rise in Fasting Glucose Linked to Heart Failure Risk

Risk of heart failure hospitalization increases 1.10 times for every millimole per liter increase in fasting plasma glucose

MONDAY, March 5 (HealthDay News) -- Even incremental increases in fasting glucose levels are associated with an increased risk of congestive heart failure in diabetic and other high-risk patients, according to a report published online March 5 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Claes Held, M.D., Ph.D., of the McMaster Clinic in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and an international group of researchers examined heart failure risk and fasting glucose levels in 31,546 high-risk patients involved in two parallel randomized controlled studies. Overall, 37 percent of patients were diabetic, but none had heart failure at baseline.

The studies evaluated the effect of telmisartan, ramipril, a combination of both, or placebo in 25,620 participants; and the effect of telmisartan versus placebo in 5,926 angiotensin-converting enzyme-intolerant heart patients. During follow-up, 668 subjects developed congestive heart failure.

The researchers found that participants had a 1.10-fold increase in the risk of heart failure hospitalization for every 1 millimole per liter increase in fasting plasma glucose from baseline, after adjusting for age, diabetes and other factors.

"Fasting plasma glucose is an independent predictor of hospitalization for congestive heart failure in high-risk subjects," the authors write. "These data provide theoretical support for potential direct beneficial effects of glucose lowering in reducing the risk of congestive heart failure."

One author has received a research grant for studies on insulin to reduce cardiovascular events and is a consultant for Sanofi-Aventis.

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