Background: Glycemic variation as an independent predictor of ischemic stroke in type 2 diabetic patients remains unclear. This study examined visit-to-visit variations in fasting plasma glucose (FPG), as represented by the coefficient of variation (CV), for predicting ischemic stroke independently, regardless of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) and other conventional risk factors in such patients.
Methods: Type 2 diabetic patients enrolled in the National Diabetes Care Management Program, ≥30 years old and free of ischemic stroke (n = 28,354) in 2002 to 2004 were included, and related factors were analyzed with extended Cox proportional hazards regression models of competing risk data on stroke incidence.
Results: After an average 7.5 years of follow-up, there were 2,250 incident cases of ischemic stroke, giving a crude incidence rate of 10.56/1,000 person-years (11.64 for men, 9.63 for women). After multivariate adjustment, hazard ratios for the second, third and fourth versus first FPG-CV quartile were 1.11 (0.98, 1.25), 1.22 (1.08, 1.38) and 1.27 (1.12, 1.43), respectively, without considering HbA1c, and 1.09 (0.96, 1.23), 1.16 (1.03, 1.31) and 1.17 (1.03, 1.32), respectively, after considering HbA1c.
Conclusions: Besides HbA1c, FPG-CV was a potent predictor of ischemic stroke in type 2 diabetic patients, suggesting that different therapeutic strategies now in use be rated for their potential to (1) minimize glucose fluctuations and (2) reduce HbA1c level in type 2 diabetic patients to prevent ischemic stroke.