Background: Glucose variability (GV) measured by continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) has become an accepted marker of glycemic control. Nevertheless, several methodological aspects of GV assessment require further study. We, therefore, investigated the minimum number of days needed to reliably measure GV, assessed GV reference values, and studied the correlation of GV with established glycemic indices (i.e., HbA(1c), seven-point oral glucose tolerance test [OGTT]-derived indices). Methods: We used cross-sectional data from The Maastricht Study, an observational population-based cohort enriched with type 2 diabetes. Participants with more than 48 h of CGM (iPro2; Medtronic) were included for analysis (n = 851; age: 60 +/- 9years; 49% women; 23% type 2 diabetes). We used mean sensor glucose (MSG), standard deviation (SD), and coefficient of variation (CV) as CGM-derived indices (the latter two for GV quantification). We calculated reliability using the Spearman-Brown prophecy formula, established reference values by calculating 2.5th-97.5th percentiles, and studied correlations using Spearman's rho. Results: Sufficient reliability (R > 0.80) was achieved with two (MSG and SD), or three monitoring days (CV). The reference ranges, assessed in individuals with normal glucose metabolism (n = 470), were 90.5-120.6 mg/dL (MSG), 7.9-24.8 mg/dL (SD), and 7.74%-22.45% (CV). For MSG, the strongest correlation was found with fasting plasma glucose (rho = 0.65 [0.61; 0.69]); for SD, with the 1-h OGTT value (rho = 0.61 [0.56; 0.65]); and for CV, with both the incremental glucose peak (IGP) during the OGTT (rho = 0.50 [0.45; 0.55]) and the 1-h OGTT value (rho = 0.50 [0.45; 0.55]). Conclusions: The reliability findings and reference values are relevant for studies that aim to investigate CGM-measured GV. One-hour OGTT and IGP values can be used as GV indices when CGM is unavailable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-403
Number of pages9
JournalDiabetes Technology & Therapeutics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020


  • Continuous glucose monitoring
  • Epidemiology
  • Glucose variability
  • Oral glucose tolerance test
  • Reference values
  • Reliability
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus

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