Long-term Excess Risk of Heart Failure in People With Type 1 Diabetes: A Prospective Case-Control Study

Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 2015 Nov;3(11):876-85. doi: 10.1016/S2213-8587(15)00292-2. Epub 2015 Sep 18.


Background: Diabetes is an established risk factor for heart failure, but because nearly all heart failure occurs in older individuals, the excess risk and risk factors for heart failure in individuals with type 1 diabetes are not known. We aimed to determine the excess risk of heart failure in individuals with type 1 diabetes overall and by different levels of glycaemic control and albuminuria.

Methods: In this prospective case-control study, we identified all individuals with type 1 diabetes registered in the Swedish National Diabetes Registry between Jan 1, 1998, and Dec 31, 2011, and five controls randomly selected from the general population for each patient, matched according to age, sex, and county, and compared them with respect to subsequent hospital admissions for heart failure, with hazard ratios calculated with Cox regression.

Findings: In a cohort of 33 402 patients (mean age at baseline 35 years [SD 14], 15 058 [45%] women, and mean duration of diabetes 20·1 years [SD 14·5]), over a mean follow-up of 7·9 years, 1062 (3%) patients were admitted to hospital with a diagnosis of heart failure, compared with 1325 (1%) of 166 228 matched controls over 8·3 years, giving a HR 4·69 (95% CI 3·64-6·04), after adjustment for time-updated age, sex, time-updated diabetes duration, birth in Sweden, educational level, and baseline comorbidities. Worse glycaemic control was associated with increased risk of heart failure in a graded fashion, and so was the presence of albuminuria. Risk of heart failure was also increased among those with well controlled diabetes (adjusted HR 2·16 [95% CI 1·55-3·01]) and in those with no albuminuria (3·38 [2·51-4·57]), but not in the subgroup both well-controlled and with normoalbuminuria (1·59 [0·70-3·58]).

Interpretation: Individuals with type 1 diabetes had a four-times increase in the risk of being admitted to hospital with heart failure compared with population-based controls. Poor glycaemic control and impaired renal function substantially increased the risk of heart failure.

Funding: The Swedish state, Swedish Society for Physicians, the Health & Medical Care Committee of the Regional Executive Board (Region Vastra Gotaland, Sweden), the Swedish Heart-Lung Foundation, Diabetes Wellness, Novo Nordisk Foundation (PI M Lind), the Swedish Research Council, and the Swedish Council for working life and social research (Epilife).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / complications
  • Heart Failure / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors