The accepted normal fasting plasma level of glucose has been lowered, step-by-step, over the past two decades from 7.7 mmol/L (140 mg/dL) to less than 5.5 mmol/L (100 mg/dL). Now, a US expert suggests that fasting plasma glucose levels represent a continuum, and that the border between what is “normal” and “abnormal” is a shady zone, influenced by a range of factors, including weight, age and sex.1 Dr Ronald Arky was commenting on an Israeli study which followed a large military cohort for 12 years.2 Healthy young men with fasting plasma glucose levels at the high end of the normoglycaemic range were found to be more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Together with other independent risk factors for diabetes, like body mass index (BMI) and serum triglyceride levels, this assay could help to identify apparently healthy men at increased risk of diabetes.
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