Identification of insulin secretory defects and insulin resistance during oral glucose tolerance test in a cohort of cystic fibrosis patients

A. Battezzati, A. Mari, L. Zazzeron, G. Alicandro, L. Claut, P. M. Battezzati, C. Colombo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Cystic fibrosis (CF)-related diabetes is a leading complication of CF and is associated with pulmonary and nutritional deterioration, years before an evident hyperglycemia, possibly because of insulin deficiency and resistance. Aim: To evaluate glucose tolerance, insulin secretion, and insulin sensitivity by a widely applicable method suitable for accurate and prospective measurements in a CF population. Methods: A total of 165 CF subjects (80 females) aged 17 ± 5 years and 18 age- and sex-matched healthy controls (CON) received an oral glucose tolerance test with glucose, insulin and C-peptide determinations. Insulin sensitivity was defined on the basis of glucose and insulin concentrations using the oral glucose insulin sensitivity index, whereas β-cell function was determined on the basis of a model relating insulin secretion (C-peptide profile) to glucose concentration. Results: Fifteen percent of CF patients had glucose intolerance and 6% had diabetes without fasting hyperglycemia and 3% had diabetes with fasting hyperglycemia. β-cell function was reduced in CF patients compared with CON (70.0 ± 4.1 vs 117.9 ± 11.6 pmol/min per m 2 per mM, P <0.001) and decreased significantly with age by -2.7 pmol/min per m 2 per mM per year (confidence interval (CI) -4.5 to -0.82), i.e. almost 4% yearly. The early insulin secretion index was also reduced. Insulin sensitivity was similar to CON. CF patients who attained glucose tolerance comparable to CON had lower β-cell function and higher insulin sensitivity. Conclusion: The major alteration in insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity of CF patients is slowly declining β-cell function, consisting of delayed and reduced responsiveness to hyperglycemia, that in CF patients with normal glucose tolerance may be compensated by an increased insulin sensitivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-76
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Endocrinology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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