Long-term follow-up of intensive glycaemic control on renal outcomes in the Veterans Affairs Diabetes Trial (VADT)

Diabetologia. 2018 Feb;61(2):295-299. doi: 10.1007/s00125-017-4473-2. Epub 2017 Nov 3.


Aims/hypothesis: We conducted an analysis of data collected during the Veterans Affairs Diabetes Trial (VADT) and the follow-up study (VADT-F) to determine whether intensive (INT) compared with standard (STD) glycaemic control during the VADT resulted in better long-term kidney outcomes.

Methods: VADT randomly assigned 1791 veterans from 20 Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centres who had type 2 diabetes mellitus and a mean HbA1c of 9.4 ± 2% (79.2 mmol/mol) at baseline to receive either INT or STD glucose control for a median of 5.6 years (randomisation December 2000 to May 2003; intervention ending in May 2008). After the trial, participants received routine care through their own physicians within the VA. This is an interim analysis of the VADT-F (June 2008 to December 2013). We collected data using VA and National databases and report renal outcomes based on serum creatinine, eGFR and urine albumin to creatinine ratio (ACR) in 1033 people who provided informed consent to participate in the VADT-F.

Results: By the end of the VADT-F, significantly more people who received INT treatment during the VADT maintained an eGFR >60 ml min-1 1.73 m-2 (OR 1.34 [95% CI 1.05, 1.71], p = 0.02). This benefit was most evident in those who were classified as at moderate risk (INT vs STD, RR 1.3, p = 0.03) or high risk (RR 2.3, p = 0.04) of chronic kidney disease on the Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO-CKD) at the beginning of VADT. At the end of VADT-F, significantly more people from the INT group improved to a low KDIGO risk category (RR 6.1, p = 0.002). During the VADT-F there were no significant differences between INT and STD for average HbA1c, blood pressure or lipid levels.

Conclusions/interpretation: After just over 11 years of follow-up, there was a 34% greater odds of maintaining an eGFR of >60 ml min-1 1.73 m-2 and of improving the KDIGO category in individuals with type 2 diabetes who had received INT for a median of 5.6 years. VADT clinical trials.gov number: NCT 00032487.

Keywords: Intensive glycaemic control; Nephropathy; Renal outcomes; Type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / drug effects
  • Creatinine / urine
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / drug therapy
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / metabolism
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate / drug effects
  • Glycated Hemoglobin / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Insulin / therapeutic use
  • Kidney / drug effects
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Kidney / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Serum Albumin, Human / urine
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Veterans


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Insulin
  • Creatinine
  • Serum Albumin, Human