Non-compressible arterial disease and the risk of coronary calcification in type-2 diabetes

Scott M Lilly, Atif N Qasim, Claire K Mulvey, Timothy W Churchill, Muredach P Reilly, Luis H Eraso
Atherosclerosis 2013, 230 (1): 17-22

OBJECTIVE: Ankle-brachial index (ABI) screening is recommended for the detection of asymptomatic peripheral arterial disease (PAD) in at-risk populations, including diabetics. A low ABI identifies obstructive lower extremity vascular disease and predicts CVD events and increased mortality. A high ABI represents non-compressible arterial disease (NCAD), and is also associated with increased mortality and vascular events. Our objective is to investigate whether low and high ABI have distinct patterns of association with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors and subclinical atherosclerosis in individuals with type-II diabetes mellitus.

METHODS: The Penn Diabetes Heart Study (PDHS) is a prospective observational cohort of diabetic individuals without clinically evident CVD. Multivariate logistic and Tobit linear regression were used to compare CVD risk factors and coronary artery (CAC) among 1863 subjects with PAD (ABI ≤ 0.9), NCAD (ABI ≥ 1.4 or non-compressible) or normal ABI (0.91-1.39).

RESULTS: Compared to those with normal ABI, PAD was associated with smoking, obesity, and lower HDL-c; while diabetes duration and reduced renal function were associated with NCAD. Both PAD and NCAD were independently associated with increased CAC compared to those with normal ABI, and these relationships were not attenuated in multiply adjusted models.

CONCLUSION: NCAD bears a distinct relationship to traditional CVD risk factors among diabetics, though like PAD is independently associated with increased CAC. These findings support the recognition of NCAD as a high-risk phenotype and provide additional relevance to ABI screening in diabetics.

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