The plasma glucose and insulin response to an oral glucose challenge, fasting plasma lipid concentration, and blood pressure were compared in 13 offspring of parents previously diagnosed as having impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and 13 offspring of parents previously shown to have normal glucose tolerance. The parents with IGT had higher plasma glucose, insulin and triglyceride concentration, and blood pressure than parents with normal glucose tolerance. The two groups of offspring were young and non-obese, and similar in terms of age, gender distribution, and body mass index. However, the total integrated plasma insulin response during a 75 g oral glucose tolerance test was significantly higher (p less than 0.05, Student's t-test) in offspring of parents with IGT (718 +/- 71 pmol l-1 h) than in the subjects whose parents had normal glucose tolerance (524 +/- 47 pmol l-1 h). In addition, serum triglyceride concentration was somewhat higher in offspring of parents with IGT (1.17 +/- 0.11 vs 0.92 +/- 0.08 mmol l-1, 0.10 greater than p greater than 0.05), as were both systolic (132 +/- 5 vs 118 +/- 3 mmHg, p less than 0.05) and diastolic (79 +/- 3 vs 70 +/- 2 mmHg, p less than 0.05) blood pressure. Demonstration of similar abnormalities in plasma insulin response to glucose and blood pressure regulation in patients with IGT and in their offspring is consistent with the view that these changes have a genetic component.
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