Purpose: To assess the relation between the duration of diabetes and the risk of peripheral arterial disease among men.
Methods: A total of 48,607 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study who returned a questionnaire in 1986 were followed for 12 years. Peripheral arterial disease (intermittent claudication or surgery for peripheral arterial diseases in the lower extremities) was ascertained by biennial questionnaire and confirmed by medical record review. Diabetes status and other cardiovascular risk factors were also ascertained by biennial questionnaire.
Results: During follow-up (534,588 person-years), we documented 387 cases of peripheral arterial disease. After adjusting for cardiovascular risk factors, the relative risk of developing peripheral arterial disease among men with diabetes compared with men without diabetes was 2.61 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.98 to 3.45). Compared with men without diabetes, the relative risk of peripheral arterial disease among men with diabetes increased with duration of disease, even after adjusting for cardiovascular risk factors: 1.39 (95% CI: 0.82 to 2.36) for 1 to 5 years of diabetes, 3.63 (95% CI: 2.23 to 5.88) for 6 to 10 years, 2.55 (95% CI: 1.50 to 4.32) for 11 to 25 years, and 4.53 (95% CI: 2.39 to 8.58) for >25 years of diabetes (P for trend < or =0.0001).
Conclusion: These results indicate that duration of type 2 diabetes is associated strongly with the risk of developing peripheral arterial disease.