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06-16-2018 | Risk factors | Review | Article

Methods for Measuring Risk for Type 2 Diabetes in Youth: the Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT)

Current Diabetes Reports

Authors: Melinda E. Chen, Rebecca S. Aguirre, Tamara S. Hannon

Publisher: Springer US


Purpose of Review

The oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) is used both in clinical practice and research to assess glucose tolerance. In addition, the OGTT is utilized for surrogate measures of insulin sensitivity and the insulin response to enteral glucose and has been widely applied in the evaluation of β-cell dysfunction in obesity, prediabetes, and type 2 diabetes. Here we review the use of the OGTT and the OGTT-derived indices for measurement of risk markers for type 2 diabetes in youth.

Recent Findings

Advantages of using the OGTT for measures of diabetes risk include its accessibility and the incorporation of physiological contributions of the gut-pancreas axis in the measures of insulin response to glucose. Mathematical modeling expands the potential gains from the OGTT in physiology and clinical research. Disadvantages include individual differences in the rate of glucose absorption that modify insulin responses, imperfect control of the glycemic stimulus, and poor intraindividual reproducibility.


Available research suggests the OGTT provides valuable information about the development of impaired glycemic control and β-cell function in obese youth along the spectrum of glucose tolerance.

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