Endothelial dysfunction is related to poor glycemic control in adolescents with type 1 diabetes under 5 years of disease: evidence of metabolic memory

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011 May;96(5):1493-9. doi: 10.1210/jc.2010-2363. Epub 2011 Feb 23.


Context: The relation between endothelial dysfunction (ED), glycemic control, and early type I diabetes mellitus (T1DM) is unclear.

Objective: The objective of the study was to evaluate the association of ED, glycemic control, and the duration of diabetes in T1DM.

Design: This was a cross-sectional study.

Setting: The study was conducted at a public outpatient clinic.

Patients: Fifty-seven T1DM adolescents and 10 healthy age-matched controls participated in the study.

Intervention: There were no interventions.

Methods and outcome measures: Endothelial function (ED) was evaluated by flow-mediated dilation (FMD) in the brachial artery after reactive hyperemia. Biochemical data, including HbA1c (glycohemoglobin), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, lipids, and urinary albumin excretion were collected. Means of four HbA1c values collected at 3-month intervals in the first and second year before FMD analyses were obtained.

Results: Mean FMD was decreased in T1DM compared with controls (P = 0.023), independent of age, smoking, hypertension, or dyslipidemia. Twenty-eight of 57 T1DM patients enrolled (49%) had ED. FMD was decreased in microalbuminuric (4.1%) compared with normoalbuminuric patients (10.1%, P = 0.01) and controls (14.6%, P < 0.001). FMD correlated inversely with mean second-year HbA1c (r = -0.426, P = 0.02), particularly in patients with less than 5 yr of T1DM (r = -0.61, P = 0.004). In these patients, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein was strongly correlated with mean first-year HbA1c (r = -0.66, P = 0.0003). In patients with more than 5 yr of T1DM, we found no significant correlations between ED and glycemic control.

Conclusions: Endothelial dysfunction is common in T1DM adolescents with less than 5 yr of disease. It is associated with duration of disease, microalbuminuria, and mean second-year HbA1c but not with mean first-year HbA1c. These data support the metabolic memory hypothesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Albuminuria / complications
  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Brachial Artery / physiopathology
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / physiopathology*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hyperemia / physiopathology
  • Inflammation / complications
  • Inflammation / pathology
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Vasodilation / physiology
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Lipids
  • C-Reactive Protein