Background: Hyperglycaemia could substantially increase the risk of ischaemic heart disease in patients with type 2 diabetes. We investigated whether intensive lowering of glucose concentrations affects risk.
Methods: We assessed 10,251 adults aged 40-79 years with established type 2 diabetes, mean glycated haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) concentration of 67 mmol/mol (8·3%), and risk factors for ischaemic heart disease enrolled in the ACCORD trial. Participants were assigned to intensive or standard therapy (target HbA1c less than 42 or 53-63 mmol/mol [less than 6·0% or 7·0-7·9%], respectively). We assessed fatal or non-fatal myocardial infarction, coronary revascularisation, unstable angina, and new angina during active treatment (mean 3·7 years) plus a further mean 1·2 years. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00000620.
Findings: Myocardial infarction was less frequent in the intensive than in the standard therapy group during active treatment (hazard ratio [HR] 0·80, 95% CI 0·67-0·96; p=0·015) and overall (0·84, 0·72-0·97; p=0·02). Findings were similar for combined myocardial infarction, coronary revascularisation, and unstable angina (active treatment HR 0·89, 95% CI 0·79-0·99, overall 0·87 0·79-0·96) and for coronary revascularisation alone (0·84, 0·75-0·94) and unstable angina alone (0·81, 0·67-0·97) during full follow-up. With lowest achieved HbA1C concentrations included as a time-dependent covariate, all hazards became non-significant.
Interpretation: Raised glucose concentration is a modifiable risk factor for ischaemic heart disease in middle-aged people with type 2 diabetes and other cardiovascular risk factors.
Funding: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institute on Aging, National Eye Intitute, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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