Background: Diabetes exerts adverse effects on the heart, and a longer diabetes duration is associated with greater heart failure risk. We studied diabetes duration and subclinical myocardial injury, as reflected by high-sensitivity cardiac troponin (hs-cTnT).
Methods: We analyzed 9052 participants without heart failure or coronary heart disease (mean age 63 years, 58% female, 21% Black, 15% with diabetes) at The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (ARIC) Visit 4 (1996 to 1998). Diabetes duration was calculated based on diabetes status at Visits 1 (1987 to 1989) through 4, or using self-reported age of diabetes diagnosis prior to Visit 1. We used multinomial logistic regression to determine the association of diabetes duration with increased (≥14 ng/L) or detectable (≥6 ng/L) Visit 4 hs-cTnT, relative to undetectable hs-cTnT, adjusted for demographics and cardiovascular risk factors.
Results: The prevalence of increased Visit 4 hs-cTnT was higher in persons with longer diabetes duration, from 12% for those with diabetes 0 to <5 years up to 31% among those with diabetes for ≥15 years (P for trend <0.0001). New onset diabetes at Visit 4 was associated with 1.92× higher relative risk (95% CI, 1.27-2.91) of increased hs-cTnT than no diabetes. Longer diabetes duration was associated with greater myocardial injury, with duration ≥15 years associated with 9.29× higher risk (95% CI, 5.65-15.29) for increased hs-cTnT and 2.07× (95% CI, 1.24-3.16) for detectable hs-cTnT, compared to no diabetes.
Conclusions: Longer diabetes duration is strongly associated with subclinical myocardial injury. Interventional studies are needed to assess whether the prevention and delay of diabetes onset can mitigate early myocardial damage.
© American Association for Clinical Chemistry 2022. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.