Aims: To examine the effect of albuminuria and retinopathy on the risk of cardiovascular and renal events, and all-cause mortality in patients with Type 2 diabetes.
Methods: A post-hoc analysis of 4416 Chinese patients without macrovascular complications at baseline (age 57.6 +/- 13.3 years). Glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) was estimated by the abbreviated Modification of Diet in Renal Disease Study Group Formula, further adjusted for Chinese ethnicity. Clinical end points were all-cause mortality, cardiovascular events (heart failure or angina, myocardial infarction, lower limb amputation, re-vascularization procedures and stroke) and renal end points (reduction in eGFR by more than 50% or eGFR < 15 ml/min/1.73 m2 or death as a result of renal causes or need for dialysis).
Results: Compared with individuals without complications, subjects with retinopathy and macroalbuminuria had higher rates of cardiovascular events (14.1 vs. 2.4%), renal events (40.0 vs. 0.8%) and death (9.3 vs. 1.7%, P < 0.001). For composite event of death, cardiovascular and renal events, the presence of retinopathy, microalbuminuria alone, macroalbuminuria alone, retinopathy with microalbuminuria or retinopathy with macroalbuminuria increased the risk [hazard ratio (95% CI)] by 1.61 (1.05 to 2.47; P = 0.04), 1.93 (1.38 to 2.69; P < 0.001), 4.34 (3.02 to 6.22; P < 0.001), 2.59 [1.76 to 3.81; P < 0.001) and 6.83 (4.89 to 9.55; P < 0.001) fold, respectively. The relative excess risk as a result of interaction between retinopathy and macroalbuminuria was 15.31, implying biological interaction in the development of renal events.
Conclusions: In Chinese patients with Type 2 diabetes, retinopathy interacts with macroalbuminuria to increase the risk of composite cardio-renal events.