Incident coronary atherosclerosis, unstable angina, non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction or ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction in type 2 diabetes : is mean glycated hemoglobin a good predictor?
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Background: Glycated hemoglobin is the indicator of long-term diabetes control and a value below 7 percent is recommended by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) to reduce cardiovascular complications. Diabetic patients have a two- to four-fold risk of cardiovascular disease and approximately two-thirds of diabetic patients die as a result of cardiovascular complications. Three large prospective randomized controlled long-term trials within the last decade reported no significant reduction in cardiovascular complications in type 2 diabetic patients by intensive glycemic control. To the author's knowledge, no known retrospective studies have examined the association between mean serial glycated hemoglobin and coronary atherosclerosis (CA) or acute coronary syndromes (ACS). Objective: This study was designed to determine the association between mean serial glycated hemoglobin with incident CA or ACS in type 2 diabetic patients after controlling for age, gender, hypertension, low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), microalbuminuria, aspirin use, statin use, insulin use, tobacco use, and body mass index (BMI). Methods: The study was a retrospective cohort database analysis using the Austin Travis County CommUnityCare[trademark] clinics' electronic medical record for the time period between October 1, 2004 and September 30, 2009. The primary outcome of the study was the incidence of CA or ACS and the primary independent variable was glycated hemoglobin (<7% vs. [greater than or equal to]7%). The study subjects included type 2 diabetic patients aged 30 to 80 years with at least one glycated hemoglobin value per year for a minimum of two consecutive years. Study subjects were excluded if CA or ACS occurred within six months of the index date (i.e., first glycated hemoglobin). Logistic regression analysis was used to address the study objective. Results: Overall, 3069 subjects met the study inclusion criteria with a mean follow-up period of approximately two years. Two percent (N=62) of the subjects had incident CA or ACS. After controlling for age, gender, hypertension diagnosis, LDL-C, microalbuminuria, aspirin use, statin use, insulin use, tobacco use and BMI, there was no significant association (OR=1.026, 95% CI=0.589-1.785, p=0.9289) between mean serial glycated hemoglobin and the incident diagnosis of CA or ACS. Increasing age (OR=1.051, 95% CI=1.025-1.077, p<0.0001), male gender (OR=1.855, 95% CI=1.105-3.115, p=0.0195) and normal weight (normal or underweight compared to obese: OR=0.122, 95% CI=0.017-0.895, p=0.0438) were significantly associated with incident CA or ACS. Conclusions: Mean serial glycated hemoglobin (comparing [greater than or equal to]7% to <7%) was not significantly associated with CA or ACS over a mean follow-up period of approximately two years. Until more evidence becomes available, clinicians and diabetic patients should target glycated hemoglobin level below or close to 7 percent as recommended by the ADA soon after diagnosis while concomitantly controlling nonglycemic risk factors of cardiovascular disease (statin use, aspirin use, blood pressure control, smoking cessation and life style modification), to reduce their long-term risk of incident CA or ACS.