Insulin ameliorates exercise ventilatory efficiency and oxygen uptake in patients with heart failure-type 2 diabetes comorbidity

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OBJECTIVES: This study sought to test whether insulin improves exercise ventilatory efficiency, (VE/VCO2 slope) and oxygen uptake at peak exercise (peak VO2) in patients with type 2 diabetes-heart failure (HF) comorbidity. BACKGROUND: In type 2 diabetes-HF comorbidity, depression of alveolar-capillary diffusion (DLCO) correlates with deterioration of exercise VE/VCO2 slope and peak VO2. Insulin potentiates DLCO in these patients. METHODS: Exercise ventilatory effidency and peak VO2 (cycle ergometry ramp protocol), as well as DLCO at rest and its subdivisions (membrane conductance [DM] and pulmonary capillary blood volume [VC]) were assessed in 18 patients with type 2 diabetes-HF comorbidity at baseline and after 50 ml of saline + regular insulin (10 IU), or saline, was infused on consecutive days, according to a random crossover design. Glycemia was kept at pre-insulin level for the experiment duration. RESULTS: Baseline DLCO, DM, peak VO2, and VE/VCO2 slope were compromised in these patients. At measurements performed in the 60 min after infusions, compared with at baseline, saline was ineffective, whereas insulin augmented peak VO2 (+13.5%) and lowered VE/VCO2 slope (-18%), and also increased time to anaerobic threshold (+29.4%), maximal O2 pulse (+12.3%), aerobic efficiency (+21.2%), DLCO (+12.5%), and DM (+21.6%), despite a reduction in VC (-16.3%); insulin did not vary cardiac index and eiecdon fraction at rest. Changes in peak VO2 and VE/VCO2 slope (r = 0.67, p = 0.002; r = -0.73, p < 0.001, respectively) correlated with those in DLCO. These responses were unrelated to glycohemoglobin and baseline fasting blood sugar. They were persistent at 6 h after insulin infusion, and were undetectable at 24 h. CONCLUSIONS: In diabetes-HF comorbidity, insulin causes a prolonged improvement in physical performance through activation of multiple factors, among which facilitation of gas conductance seems to be predominant. © 2003 by the American College of Cardiology Foundation.




Guazzi, M., Tumminello, G., Matturd, M., & Guazzi, M. D. (2003). Insulin ameliorates exercise ventilatory efficiency and oxygen uptake in patients with heart failure-type 2 diabetes comorbidity. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 42(6), 1044–1050.

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