Elevated Triglyceride Levels Affect Glycemic Control in Type 2 Diabetes

Reducing triglyceride levels in patients with type 2 diabetes may help them attain more optimal glycemic control.

Elevated triglyceride levels in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) may impair glycemic control, according to study findings published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Research suggests that elevated blood triglyceride levels can increase the risk of developing diabetes and prediabetes, but it remains unclear whether high triglyceride levels are associated with inadequate glycemic control in individuals who have already been diagnosed with diabetes. In this study, investigators identified a cohort of individuals with T2D who had participated in the very large multicenter Mainland China National HbA1c Surveillance System cross-sectional study and assessed the association between elevated triglyceride levels and inadequate glycemic control. A total of 20,108 individuals met the inclusion criteria; all were being treated with insulin.

More than half of the cohort (56%) had elevated triglyceride levels (≥1.70 mmol/L) and the prevalence of elevated hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) ≥7.0% and ≥6.5% were 67.2% and 83.4%, respectively. Patients with higher triglyceride levels also had a higher prevalence of inadequate glycemic control. After adjusting for all potential confounding factors, the odds ratio of having HbA1c ≥7.0% in individuals with triglyceride levels in the range of 1.70 to 2.29 mmol/L was 1.06 (95% CI, 0.98-1.15), 1.35 (95% CI, 1.23-1.48) for the range 2.30 to 3.39 mmol/L, and 3.12 (95% CI, 2.76-3.53) for a triglyceride level ≥3.40 mmol/L vs individuals with triglyceride levels <1.70 mmol/L. Statistically significant trends were observed for increased odds of inadequate glycemic control in the 4 triglyceride level categories (P <.001 for all comparisons).

“The results from this study imply that in [patients with T2D] treated with sufficient dose[s] of insulin, the elevated triglyceride level might be an independent and strong factor contributing to the inadequate glycemic control,” concluded the investigators.

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Zheng D, Dou J, Liu G, et al. Association between triglyceride level and glycemic control among insulin-treated patients with type 2 diabetes [published online November 9, 2018]. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. doi:10.1210/jc.2018-01656