Risk Factors for Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) in Adults with Type 1 Diabetes: Findings from Prospective Real-life T1D Exchange Registry

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2020 May 1;105(5):e2032-e2038. doi: 10.1210/clinem/dgaa015.


Context: Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a major cause of mortality in adults with type 1 diabetes.

Objective: We prospectively evaluated CVD risk factors in a large, contemporary cohort of adults with type 1 diabetes living in the United States.

Design: Observational study of CVD and CVD risk factors over a median of 5.3 years.

Setting: The T1D Exchange clinic network.

Patients: Adults (age ≥ 18 years) with type 1 diabetes and without known CVD diagnosed before or at enrollment.

Main outcome measure: Associations between CVD risk factors and incident CVD were assessed by multivariable logistic regression.

Results: The study included 8,727 participants (53% female, 88% non-Hispanic white, median age 33 years [interquartile ratio {IQR} = 21, 48], type 1 diabetes duration 16 years [IQR = 9, 26]). At enrollment, median HbA1c was 7.6% (66 mmol/mol) (IQR = 6.9 [52], 8.6 [70]), 33% used a statin, and 37% used blood pressure medication. Over a mean follow-up of 4.6 years, 325 (3.7%) participants developed incident CVD. Ischemic heart disease was the most common CVD event. Increasing age, body mass index, HbA1c, presence of hypertension and dyslipidemia, increasing duration of diabetes, and diabetic nephropathy were associated with increased risk for CVD. There were no significant gender differences in CVD risk.

Conclusion: HbA1c, hypertension, dyslipidemia and diabetic nephropathy are important risk factors for CVD in adults with type 1 diabetes. A longer follow-up is likely required to assess the impact of other traditional CVD risk factors on incident CVD in the current era.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / epidemiology
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / epidemiology
  • Diabetic Angiopathies / etiology
  • Female
  • Heart Disease Risk Factors*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult