The degree of retinopathy is equally predictive for renal and macrovascular outcomes in the ACCORD Trial

J Diabetes Complications. 2014 Nov-Dec;28(6):874-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jdiacomp.2014.07.001. Epub 2014 Jul 12.


Aims: Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is associated with a higher risk of renal and cardiovascular events. We sought to compare the risk for renal versus cardiovascular (CV) outcomes, stratified by retinopathy severity.

Methods: ACCORD was a randomized trial of people with type 2 diabetes, at high-risk for CV disease. A subgroup (n=3,369 from 71 clinics) had stereoscopic fundus photographs graded centrally. Participants were stratified at baseline to moderate/severe DR or no/mild DR and were monitored for renal and CV outcomes at follow-up visits over 4 years. The composite renal outcome was composed of serum creatinine doubling, macroalbuminuria, or end-stage renal disease. The composite CV outcome was the ACCORD trial primary outcome. Competing risk techniques were used to estimate the relative risk (RR) of renal versus CV composite outcomes within each DR stratum.

Results: The hazards ratio for doubling of serum creatinine and incident CV event in the moderate/severe DR versus no/mild DR strata were: 2.31 (95% CI: 1.25-4.26) and 1.98 (95% CI: 1.49-2.62), respectively. The RR of the two composite outcomes was highly similar in the no/mild DR stratum (adjusted RR at 4 years for CV versus renal events=0.96, 95% CI: 0.72-1.28) and the moderate/severe DR stratum (adjusted RR=0.92, 95% CI: 0.64-1.31).

Conclusions: Thus, in people with type 2 diabetes at high risk for cardiovascular disease, incident CV versus renal events was similar, irrespective of the severity of the DR. Further evaluation of the specificity of DR for microvascular versus macrovascular events in other populations is warranted.

Keywords: Albuminuria; Macrovascular; Microvascular; Nephropathy; Retinopathy.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / complications
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnosis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diagnosis*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / diagnosis*
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / epidemiology
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / etiology
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / diagnosis*
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / epidemiology
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / etiology
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / diagnosis*
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / epidemiology
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / etiology
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index