Characteristics of people with high visit-to-visit glycaemic variability in Type 2 diabetes

J. D. Noyes, E. Soto-Pedre, L. A. Donnelly, Ewan Pearson (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
192 Downloads (Pure)


Aims: Increased visit-to-visit glycaemic variability is independently associated with adverse outcomes in Type 2 diabetes. Our aim was to identify the patient characteristics associated with raised visit-to-visit glycaemic variability in people with Type 2 diabetes.

Methods: A case–control study was conducted to establish associations between HbA 1c variability and clinical covariates in 10 130 people with Type 2 diabetes. Variability was calculated by two metrics [sd and coefficient of variation (CV)] from a minimum of four HbA 1c readings obtained over a 4-year period. High and low variability groups were defined as the top and bottom tertile of the sd or CV, and used in logistic regression analyses including a number of clinical and biochemical covariates. The analyses were stratified into low mean (< 53 mmol/mol; 7%) and high mean (≥ 53 mmol/mol; 7%) HbA 1c groups.

Results: Findings were consistent across both HbA 1c groups and variability metrics. Treatment, independent of other factors, was the most strongly associated covariate for the risk of high HbA 1c variability. A six-fold increased risk was observed in the low HbA 1c group, between the most and least intense treatment regimens (P < 0.001). Similar findings were present in the high HbA 1c group with a three-fold increase in risk (P < 0.001). In addition, male gender, younger age, reduced HDL-cholesterol and increased BMI were all found to be independently associated with raised visit-to-visit glycaemic variability.

Conclusions: Intensive treatment resulting in low mean HbA 1c was associated with marked increase in HbA 1c variability. Irrespective of diabetes control, the greatest visit-to-visit variability was observed in young, insulin resistant men.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-267
Number of pages6
JournalDiabetic Medicine
Issue number2
Early online date29 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jan 2018


  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/blood
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A/metabolism
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance/physiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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