A1C and cardiovascular outcomes in type 2 diabetes: a nested case-control study

Diabetes Care. 2011 Jan;34(1):77-83. doi: 10.2337/dc10-1318. Epub 2010 Oct 11.


Objective: Type 2 diabetes is associated with increased cardiovascular risk. The role of aggressive glycemic control in preventing cardiovascular events is unclear. A nested case-control study design was used to evaluate the association between average A1C and cardiovascular outcomes.

Research design and methods: Adults with type 2 diabetes were identified among members of Kaiser Permanente Southern California. Type 2 diabetes was identified based on ICD-9 diagnosis codes and either A1C >7.5% or prescriptions for hypoglycemic agents. Case subjects were defined based on nonfatal myocardial infarction, nonfatal stroke, or death attributed to cardiovascular events during a 3-year window. Four type 2 diabetes control subjects were matched to each case subject based on age, sex, and index date for the corresponding case. A conditional logistic regression model was used to estimate the odds ratio of cardiovascular events and compare three patient groups based on average A1C measured in the preindex period (≤6, >6-8, >8%).

Results: A total of 44,628 control subjects were matched to 11,157 case subjects. Patients with an average A1C ≤6% were 20% more likely to experience a cardiovascular event than the group with an average A1C of >6-8% (P < 0.0001). Patients with an average A1C >8% experienced a 16% increase in the likelihood of a cardiovascular event (P < 0.0001). We found evidence of statistical interaction with A1C category and LDL level (P = 0.0002), use of cardiovascular medications (P = 0.02), and use of antipsychotics (P = 0.001).

Conclusions: High-risk patients with type 2 diabetes who achieved mean A1C levels of ≤6% or failed to decrease their A1C to <8% are at increased risk for cardiovascular events.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Glycated Hemoglobin A