Background: The goal of the VA Diabetes Trial (VADT) was to determine the effect of intensive glucose control on macrovascular events in subjects with difficult-to-control diabetes. No significant benefit was found. This report examines predictors of the effect of intensive therapy on the primary outcome in this population.
Methods: This trial included 1791 subjects. Baseline cardiovascular risk factors were collected by interview and the VA record. The analyses were done by intention to treat.
Findings: Univariate analysis at baseline of predictors of a primary cardiovascular (CV) event included a prior CV event, age, insulin use at baseline, and duration of diagnosed diabetes (all P < .0001). Multivariable modeling revealed a U-shaped relationship between duration of diabetes and treatment. Modeled estimates for the hazard ratios (HRs) for treatment show that subjects with a short duration (3 years or less) of diagnosed diabetes have a nonsignificant increase in risk (HR > 1.0) after which the HR is below 1.0. From 7 to 15 years' duration at entry, subjects have HRs favoring intensive treatment. Thereafter the HR approaches 1.0 and over-21-years' duration approaches 2.0. Duration over 21 years resulted in a HR of 1.977 (CI 1.77-3.320, P < .01). Baseline c-peptide levels progressively declined up to 15 years and were stable subsequently.
Interpretation: In difficult-to-control older subjects with type 2 DM, duration of diabetes altered the response to intensive glucose control. Intensive therapy may reduce CV events in subjects with a duration of 15 years or less and may increase risks in those with longer duration.
Published by Elsevier Inc.