Association of blood lactate with type 2 diabetes: The atherosclerosis risk in communities carotid MRI study

Stephen O. Crawford, Ron C. Hoogeveen, Frederick Louis Brancati, Brad C. Astor, Christie M. Ballantyne, Maria Inês Schmidt, Jeffery Hunter Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

115 Scopus citations


Background: Accumulating evidence implicates insufficient oxidative capacity in the development of type 2 diabetes. This notion has not been well tested in large, population-based studies. Methods: To test this hypothesis, we assessed the cross-sectional association of plasma lactate, an indicator of the gap between oxidative capacity and energy expenditure, with type 2 diabetes in 1709 older adults not taking metformin, who were participants in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Carotid MRI Study. Results: The prevalence of type 2 diabetes rose across lactate quartiles (11, 14, 20 and 30%; P for trend <0.0001). Following adjustment for demographic factors, physical activity, body mass index and waist circumference, the relative odds of type 2 diabetes across lactate quartiles were 0.98 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.59-1.64], 1.64 (95% CI 1.03-2.64) and 2.23 (95% CI 1.38-3.59), respectively. Furthermore, lactate was associated with higher fasting glucose among non-diabetic adults. Conclusions: Plasma lactate was strongly associated with type 2 diabetes in older adults. Plasma lactate deserves greater attention in studies of oxidative capacity and diabetes risk. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Epidemiological Association

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberdyq126
Pages (from-to)1647-1655
Number of pages9
JournalInternational journal of epidemiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Epidemiology
  • Glycolysis
  • Insulin resistance
  • Lactic acid
  • Oxidative phosphorylation
  • Type 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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