Predicting heart failure events in patients with coronary heart disease and impaired glucose tolerance: Insights from the Acarbose Cardiovascular Evaluation (ACE) trial

Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2020 Dec;170:108488. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2020.108488. Epub 2020 Oct 6.


Aims: Heart failure is a fatal complication of type 2 diabetes but little is known about its incidence in people with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). We used Acarbose Cardiovascular Evaluation (ACE) trial data to identify predictors of hospitalisation for heart failure (hHF) or cardiovascular (CV) death in patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) and IGT randomised to acarbose or placebo.

Methods: Independent hHF/CV death risk factors were determined using Cox proportional hazards models, with participants censored at first hHF event, CV death, or end of follow-up.

Results: During median 5-year follow-up, the composite outcome of hHF/CV death occurred in 393 (6.0%) participants. Significant hHF/CV death multivariate predictors were higher age and plasma creatinine, and prior heart failure (HF), myocardial infarction (MI), atrial fibrillation (AF) and stroke. Acarbose, compared with placebo, did not reduce hHF/CV death (hazard ratio [HR] 0.89, 95% CI 0.64-1.24, P = 0.48) or hHF (HR 0.90, 95% CI 0.74-1.10, P = 0.32).

Conclusions: Patients with CHD and IGT at greater risk of hHF/CV death were older with higher plasma creatinine, prior HF, MI, AF or stroke. Addition of acarbose to optimised CV therapy to reduce post-prandial glucose excursions did not reduce the risk of hHF/CV death or hHF.

Clinical trial registration:, number NCT00829660, and the International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial Number registry, number ISRCTN91899513.

Keywords: Acarbose; Coronary heart disease; Diabetes; Heart failure; Impaired glucose tolerance (IGT); Randomised controlled trial.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acarbose / therapeutic use*
  • Aged
  • Coronary Disease / epidemiology*
  • Coronary Disease / mortality
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Glucose Intolerance / epidemiology*
  • Glycoside Hydrolase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Heart Failure / epidemiology*
  • Heart Failure / mortality
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / epidemiology
  • Myocardial Infarction / mortality
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Glycoside Hydrolase Inhibitors
  • Creatinine
  • Acarbose

Associated data