Vascular Compliance Is Reduced in the Early Stages of Type 1 Diabetes
- Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
OBJECTIVE—To determine whether arterial compliance of patients with type 1 diabetes is reduced before the development of clinically apparent diabetes complications.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—Pulse-wave analysis was used to compare vascular compliance between patients with type 1 diabetes and nondiabetic control subjects. Analysis of covariance was used to determine differences between the two groups with adjustment for age if needed.
RESULTS—A total of 59 patients with type 1 diabetes were studied; age ranged from 17–61 years. Of the 59 patients, 32 had no evidence of diabetes complications and 27 had microvascular complications. The control group consisted of 57 healthy subjects ranging in age from 23–79 years. In the control group, large artery compliance (C1) and small artery compliance (C2) were inversely proportional to age (r = −0.55 for C1 and −0.50 for C2; P < 0.01). When the control subjects were compared with type 1 diabetic patients without microvascular complications, C1 was 1.51 ± 0.04 (SEM) for the control group and 1.33 ± 0.06 (SE) ml/mmHg for the diabetic group, whereas C2 was 0.080 ± 0.005 (SE) and 0.065 ± 0.005 (SE) ml/mmHg for the control and diabetic subjects, respectively, when adjusted for age (P = 0.03 for both C1 and C2).
CONCLUSIONS—Vascular compliance of both the large and small arteries is reduced in type 1 diabetic patients before any clinical complications from the diabetes are evident. This study serves to emphasize that vascular changes occur at an early point in the disease and may increase risk of cardiovascular events in patients with diabetes. Larger prospective studies are required to confirm this finding and to investigate the efficacy of medical intervention.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to Richard Z. Lewanczuk MD, PhD, Room 362, Heritage Medical Research Building, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2S2, Canada. E-mail:.
Received for publication 16 March 2001 and accepted in revised form 20 August 2001.
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