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Aim. In patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD), diabetes mellitus is associated with increased mortality rates. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of undiagnosed diabetes in PAD patients, and to assess whether a glucose tolerance test is more sensitive than a simple fasting glucose measurement for diagnosis in this group.
Methods. A standard glucose tolerance test and fasting glucose measurements were performed in 53 patients with PAD, who were then categorised into diagnostic groups according to each test result.
Results. Using the glucose tolerance test results, 11.5% of patients were diagnosed with diabetes mellitus and 28.8% had either impaired fasting glucose or impaired glucose tolerance. Using fasting glucose levels only, 7.7% received a diagnosis of diabetes mellitus and 17.3% had impaired fasting glucose. The glucose tolerance data and the fasting glucose data were in agreement in 82.7% of cases, but the glucose tolerance test identified an additional 3.8% of cases with diabetes and an additional 13.5% of cases with impaired glucose tolerance.
Conclusion. Undiagnosed diabetes and impaired glucose homeostasis are common in patients with PAD. Routine screening using a simple glucose tolerance test should be considered in the clinical assessment of this group. [Int Angiol 2012;31.125-8]