Aims/hypothesis: To complete a comparative analysis of studies that have examined the relationship between glycaemia and cardiovascular disease (CVD)/coronary artery disease (CAD) and perform a prospective analysis of the effect of change in glycosylated Hb level on CAD risk in the Pittsburgh Epidemiology of Diabetes Complications Study (EDC) of childhood-onset type 1 diabetes mellitus (n = 469) over 16 years of two yearly follow-up.
Methods: Measured values for HbA(1) and HbA(1c) from the EDC were converted to the DCCT-standard HbA(1c) for change analyses and the change in HbA(1c) was calculated (final HbA(1c) minus baseline HbA(1c)). CAD was defined as EDC-diagnosed angina, myocardial infarction, ischaemia, revascularisation or fatal CAD after medical record review.
Results: The comparative analysis suggested that glycaemia may have a stronger effect on CAD in patients without, than in those with, albuminuria. In EDC, the change in HbA(1c) differed significantly between CAD cases (+0.62 +/- 1.8%) and non-cases (-0.09 +/- 1.9%) and was an independent predictor of CAD.
Conclusions/interpretation: Discrepant study results regarding the relationship of glycaemia with CVD/CAD may, in part, be related to the prevalence of renal disease. Measures of HbA(1c) change over time show a stronger association with CAD than baseline values.