Observation on Renal Outcomes in the Veterans Affairs Diabetes Trial

  1. for the Veterans Affairs Diabetes Trial (VADT) Study Group*
  1. 1Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Edward Hines, Jr., VA Hospital, Hines, Illinois
  2. 2Research Service, Edward Hines, Jr., VA Hospital, Hines, Illinois
  3. 3Department of Endocrinology, Phoenix VA Health Care System, Phoenix, Arizona
  4. 4Miller School of Medicine, Miami VA Medical Center, University of Miami, Miami, Florida
  1. Corresponding author: Lily Agrawal, lily.agrawal{at}


OBJECTIVE The Veterans Affairs Diabetes Trial (VADT) was a randomized, prospective, controlled trial of 1,791 patients with type 2 diabetes to determine whether intensive glycemic control would reduce cardiovascular events compared with standard control. The effect of intensive glycemic control and selected baseline variables on renal outcomes is reported.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Baseline mean age was 60.4 years, mean duration of diabetes 11.5 years, HbA1c 9.4%, and blood pressure 132/76 mmHg. The renal exclusion was serum creatinine >1.6 mg/dL. Renal outcomes were sustained worsening of the urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio (ACR) and sustained worsening by one or more stages in the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR).

RESULTS Intensive glycemic control did not independently reduce ACR progression but was associated with a significant attenuation in the progression of ACR in those who had baseline photocoagulation, cataract surgery, or both. The beneficial effect of intensive glycemic control increased with increasing BMI and with decreasing diastolic blood pressure (DBP). Intensive glycemic control was associated with less worsening of eGFR with increasing baseline ACR and insulin use. Baseline systolic blood pressure, triglycerides, and photocoagulation were associated with worsening of eGFR.

CONCLUSIONS Intensive glycemic control had no significant effect on the progression of renal disease in the whole cohort but was associated with some protection against increasing ACR in those with more advanced microvascular disease, lower baseline DBP, or higher baseline BMI and on worsening of eGFR in those with high baseline ACR (VADT clinical trials reg. no. NCT00032487,

  • Received February 9, 2011.
  • Accepted June 15, 2011.

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