To study day-to-day variation of postprandial blood glucose and insulin increments in non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) subjects and to analyze intra- and interperson variance of response.

Research Design and Methods

Ten NIDDM subjects attending the outpatient clinic at Aarhus Kommunehospital were studied. The subjects ate three meals of 90 g of white bread, with 7 days between tests.


Mean ± SD areas under the blood glucose response curve (above basal) over a 3-h period were 557 ± 60, 569 ± 74, and 565 ± 67 mM × 180 min (NS), and areas under the insulin-response curve were 3350 ± 448, 2815 ± 359 and 3551 ± 679 mU/L × 180 min (NS) on each of the three occasions. The 95% confidence intervals of blood glucose and insulin areas for the test meal repeated three times were 564 ± 120 mM × 180 min and 3240 ± 1645 mU/L } 180 min, respectively. Intra- and interperson components of variance were 25 vs. 75% (glucose) and 78 vs. 22% (insulin) of the total variance. The intraperson components of variance included all sources of variation other than between-person variation. There was no significant correlation between blood glucose and insulin response areas.


A valid estimate of the glycemic response in a single patient is obtained after a single meal. Because of the large between-person variation, paired data should preferably be used when comparing glycemic responses to different foods.

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