There is a scarcity of studies addressing the factors associated with impaired fasting glucose in Chinese patients with uncomplicated hypertension. We included 1,218 patients newly prescribed a single antihypertensive drug in the public primary healthcare setting in Hong Kong, where their fasting glucose levels were measured 6–7 weeks after the first-ever antihypertensive prescription.
The odds ratios of having above borderline (≥ 6.1 mmol/l) and adverse (≥ 7.0 mmol/l) glucose levels, respectively, were studied according to patient age, gender, socioeconomic status, clinic types and antihypertensive drug classes by multivariable regression analyses.
The fasting glucose levels were statistically similar (p = 0.786) among patients prescribed thiazide diuretics (5.48 mmol/l, 95%, 5.38, 5.59), calcium channel blockers (5.46 mmol/l, 95% C.I. 5.37, 5.54), β-blockers (5.42 mmol/l, 95% C.I. 5.34, 5.51) and drugs acting on the renin angiotensin system (RAS) [5.41 mmol/l, 95% C.I. 5.20, 5.61]. Multivariate analyses reported no significant associations between antihypertensive drug class and impaired fasting glucose. Elderly patients and male gender were significantly more likely to present with above borderline and adverse readings respectively.
Clinicians should be aware of the increased risk of impaired fasting glucose in these groups, and use of thiazides should not in itself deter its use as a first-line antihypertensive agent among ethnic Chinese patients.