Aims: Hypertension and diabetes mellitus (DM) frequently cluster together and synergistically increase cardiovascular risk. Among those who develop DM during treatment for hypertension (new-onset diabetes, NOD), it is unclear whether NOD reflects a separate entity associated with increased risk or merely reflects accelerated presentation of DM.
Methods and results: We analysed data on 15 089 hypertensive patients attending the Glasgow Blood Pressure Clinic. The date at first hospital encounter either with diagnosis of diabetes or prescription of anti-hyperglycaemic medication were considered as the onset of diabetes. Cox proportional hazard models (including propensity score matching) were employed to study associations between diabetes status, early and late NOD (diagnosis <10 years or >10 years from first clinic visit) and cause-specific mortality. There were 2516 patients (16.7%) with DM, of whom 1862 (12.3%) had NOD [early NOD = 705 (4.6%); late NOD = 1157 (7.6%)]. The incidence rate of NOD was 8.2 per 1000 person-years. The total time at risk was 239 929 person-years [median survival: 28.1 years (inter-quartile range: 16.2-39.9)]. Compared with non-diabetic individuals, prevalent DM [hazard ratio (HR) = 1.8, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.4-2.2] and time varying NOD status (HR: 1.09, 95% CI: 1.06-1.17) were associated with increased adjusted all-cause mortality. Early NOD (HR: 1.39, 95% CI: 1.2-1.6) was associated with increased in mortality risk, but not late NOD (HR: 0.92, 95% CI: 0.83-1.01). Results were consistent in the propensity score matched analyses.
Conclusion: Although 1-in-8 hypertensive patients develop NOD, mortality is increased only in the 1-in-20 who develop early NOD. Further studies are warranted to determine if early identification of such individuals should provide an alert for intensification of therapeutic interventions.
Keywords: Hypertension; Mortality; New-onset diabetes mellitus; Pre-diabetes.
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