Sudden Death, Impaired Glucose Tolerance, and Diabetes in Japanese American Men
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Background Diabetes and glucose intolerance have been shown to increase the risk of cardiovascular mortality in a number of different populations. Most studies have been based on short follow-up periods, and few have had sufficient numbers to allow researchers to look at sudden death as an outcome.
Methods and Results The relation of sudden death, defined as unexpected death occurring within either 1 or 24 hours of first symptoms, to glucose intolerance measured by a nonfasting 1-hour postload measurement made in 1965 or history of diabetes was examined by use of 23 years of follow-up on the 8006 participants enrolled in the Honolulu Heart Program. After adjustment for baseline body mass index, hypertension, cholesterol, triglycerides, smoking, alcohol consumption, and left ventricular hypertrophy or strain, the relative risks for sudden death within 24 hours in individuals with high-normal (151 to 224 mg/dL), asymptomatic high glucose values (≥225 mg/dL), and diabetes compared with those with lower glucose values (<151 mg/dL) were 1.59, 2.22, and 2.76, respectively. All these relative risks were statistically significant (P≤.05). Trends for sudden death in 1 hour were similar. Among men with sudden death <1 hour after onset of symptoms, the strength of the association between diabetes and sudden death was stronger among those classified as having died of unknown causes who thus were more likely to have died of an arrhythmia than among those classified as having died of coronary heart disease.
Conclusions The relations seen in these analyses indicate that individuals with glucose intolerance or diagnosed diabetes are at increased risk for sudden death.
- Received November 7, 1994.
- Accepted December 12, 1994.
- Copyright © 1995 by American Heart Association