What is the prognosis of impaired glucose tolerance?

Updated: Jul 08, 2020
  • Author: Samuel T Olatunbosun, MD, FACP, FACE; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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IGT is a major risk factor for diabetes, with 20-50% of affected persons progressing to diabetes within 10 years. Approximately one third revert to normal glucose tolerance, while others persistently demonstrate IGT, as determined by using the oral glucose tolerance test. [32, 33, 34, 35]

Baseline plasma glucose is the most consistent predictor of progression to diabetes. Individuals who progress to diabetes tend to have rates of cardiovascular risk factors that are intermediate between persons with normal glucose tolerance and those with diabetes. They are at an increased risk of macrovascular complications (eg, coronary disease, gangrene, stroke). Progression to diabetes is not clearly associated with microvascular complications (eg, nephropathy, retinopathy, neuropathy). However, microvascular complications have been found in certain individuals with IGT. [36, 37]

Impaired fasting glucose is not associated with the same risk level as IGT, and the risk of cardiovascular disease is much lower in those with impaired fasting glucose.

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