Skin autofluorescence is associated with severity of vascular complications in Japanese patients with Type 2 diabetes

K Tanaka, Y Tani, J Asai, F Nemoto, Y Kusano, H Suzuki, Y Hayashi, K Asahi, M Nakayama, T Miyata, T Watanabe
Diabetic Medicine: a Journal of the British Diabetic Association 2012, 29 (4): 492-500

AIMS: Skin autofluorescence, a non-invasive measure of the accumulation for advanced glycation end products, has been reported to be a useful marker for diabetic vascular risks in the Caucasian population. The aim of this study was to evaluate associations between skin autofluorescence and vascular complications in non-Caucasian patients with Type 2 diabetes.

METHODS: Subjects in this cross-sectional study comprised 130 Japanese patients with Type 2 diabetes. Skin advanced glycation end products were assessed by skin autofluorescence using an autofluorescence reader. Association between skin autofluorescence and severity of vascular complications was evaluated.

RESULTS: Of the 130 patients, 60 (46.2%) had microvascular complications such as diabetic retinopathy, neuropathy and nephropathy, 10 (7.7%) had macrovascular complications and 63 (48.5%) had micro- and/or macrovascular complications. Skin autofluorescence increased with severity of vascular complications. Independent determinants of skin autofluorescence were age (β = 0.24, P < 0.01), mean HbA(1c) in previous year (β = 0.17, P = 0.03), microvascular complications (β = 0.44, P < 0.01) and macrovascular complications (β = 0.27, P < 0.01). Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that diabetes duration (odds ratio 1.15, P < 0.01), systolic blood pressure (odds ratio 1.04, P = 0.01), skin autofluorescence (odds ratio 3.62, P = 0.01) and serum albumin (odds ratio 0.84, P < 0.01) were independent factors for the presence of vascular complications in these patients.

CONCLUSIONS: Skin autofluorescence had independent effects on vascular complications in Japanese patients with Type 2 diabetes. This indicates that skin advanced glycation end products are a surrogate marker for vascular risk and a non-invasive autofluorescence reader may be a useful tool to detect high-risk cases in non-Caucasian patients with diabetes.

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