Optimizing cardiovascular outcomes in diabetes mellitus

Am J Med. 2007 Sep;120(9 Suppl 2):S3-11. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2007.07.002.


This article presents a series of take-home statements, compiled by a multidisciplinary steering committee, concerning significant aspects of macrovascular disease in patients with diabetes mellitus, including the extent of risk, pathogenetic mechanisms, and optimal management for risk reduction. The discussion focuses in particular on the impact of diabetes medications beyond blood glucose control. In summary, these statements are as follows: (1) Patients with diabetes have an increased risk for cardiovascular disease that contributes to decreased life expectancy; (2) prognosis after a cardiovascular event is poorer in patients with diabetes; (3) pathogenetic mechanisms include insulin resistance, endothelial dysfunction, dyslipidemia, chronic inflammation, procoagulability, and impaired fibrinolysis; (4) management of established cardiovascular risk factors, for example with 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors (statins) and antihypertensive therapy, reduces cardiovascular event rates in diabetes; (5) correction of hyperglycemia can reduce macrovascular event rates, but the coupling to hyperglycemia is less tight for macrovascular events than it is for reduction of microvascular complications; (6) patients with diabetes should be screened for additional cardiovascular risk factors and appropriate interventions should be initiated; (7) results of observational and interventional studies have indicated that some insulin sensitizers appear to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular events and improve survival; (8) thiazolidinediones have beneficial effects on metabolism that may improve cardiovascular risk, and a randomized clinical trial in patients with advanced atherosclerosis indicates that addition of pioglitazone to therapy for hyperglycemia may reduce the incidence of cardiovascular events such as myocardial infarction and stroke.

Publication types

  • Consensus Development Conference
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / complications*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnosis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / therapy
  • Diabetes Complications*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / therapy
  • Humans
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors