Background: Recent data on trends in diabetes mellitus (DM) prevalence and long-term effect on mortality in peripheral arterial disease (PAD) subjects is lacking.
Methods: All subjects discharged from any VA medical center between October 1990 to September 1997 with an International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-9 code for PAD and DM in the discharge summary were retrospectively identified. Demographic data were extracted from the database. Mortality data were obtained from the Beneficiary Information and Resource Locator. Outcome measures were age specific DM prevalence over time, and short-term and long-term mortality.
Results: Of 33, 629 patients with PAD, 9474 (29%) had DM. Diabetes mellitus subjects were less likely to be white and had more comorbidities. Mean length of hospital stay was greater for DM (22.3 d vs 18.7 days, P < 0.001). Mortality was higher for DM at 180 days (9.8% vs 8.4%, P < 0.001), 1 year (16.4% vs 13.7%, P < 0.001), and continues to increase at 8 years of follow-up. Logistic regression analysis showed no interaction between DM and coronary artery disease (CAD).
Conclusions: Diabetes mellitus increases all-cause mortality in subjects with PAD starting at 6 months post-discharge and continues to be higher even at 8 years of follow-up. There was a lack of interaction of DM and CAD on mortality in this cohort of subjects with PAD.