Aims: Type 2 diabetes is associated with at least a twofold increase in risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). We aimed to estimate the prevalence of CHD in the population of Type 2 diabetics cared for by the Italian network of outpatient diabetic units.
Methods: The DAI (Diabetes and Informatics study group, Italian Association of Diabetologists, and Italian National Institute of Health) study is a multicentre cohort study of patients with Type 2 diabetes. Patients were classified as having CHD if they had: (i) a history for hospital admission for either an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) or angina; (ii) a positive ECG for prior AMI or angina; (iii) a positive history for coronary artery bypass graft; or (iv) a positive history for percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty.
Results: A cohort of 19 468 patients was analysed: 3157 patients had CHD. The majority of events (80%) had occurred after the diagnosis of diabetes and were considered in the CHD prevalence estimate. The prevalence of CHD, adjusted by age and sex, was 9.9%: 11.0% male and 9.0% female. Angina without AMI occurred in 1306 patients; this condition was more frequent in females while a documented AMI was more frequent in males. Therapeutic procedures were performed more frequently in males. A positive association with CHD was found for gender, age at visit, duration of diabetes, hypertension, relatives with CHD, tryglicerides and microvascular complications.
Conclusions: The prevalence of CHD in this cohort is lower than previously reported; nevertheless, patients attending the diabetic care units may not be fully representative of the general diabetic population in Italy. Revascularization is less frequent in females than in males; microvascular complications and a worse metabolic control are significantly associated with CHD.