Prognostic impact of the ankle–brachial index on the development of micro- and macrovascular complications in individuals with type 2 diabetes: the Rio de Janeiro Type 2 Diabetes Cohort Study
The prognostic importance of the ankle–brachial index (ABI) in individuals with diabetes is controversial. We aimed to evaluate the relationship between the ABI and the occurrence of micro- and macrovascular complications in individuals with type 2 diabetes.
The ABI was measured at baseline in 668 individuals with type 2 diabetes, and the individuals were followed-up for a median of 10 years. Multivariate Cox analysis was used to examine associations between the ABI and the occurrence of microvascular (retinopathy, microalbuminuria, renal function deterioration and peripheral neuropathy) and macrovascular (total cardiovascular events, major adverse cardiovascular events [MACE] and cardiovascular mortality) complications, and all-cause mortality. The improvement in risk stratification was assessed using the C statistic and the integrated discrimination improvement (IDI) index.
During follow-up, 168 individuals had a cardiovascular event (140 MACE) and 191 individuals died (92 cardiovascular deaths); 156 individuals newly developed or experienced worsening diabetic retinopathy, 194 achieved the renal composite outcome (122 with newly developed microalbuminuria and 93 with deteriorating renal function) and 95 newly developed or experienced worsening peripheral neuropathy. The ABI, either analysed as a continuous or as a categorical variable, was significantly associated with all macrovascular and mortality outcomes, except for non-cardiovascular mortality. Individuals with a baseline ABI of ≤0.90 had a 2.1-fold increased risk of all-cause mortality (95% CI 1.3, 3.5; p = 0.004), a 2.7-fold excess risk of cardiovascular mortality (95% CI 1.4, 5.4; p = 0.004) and a 2.5-fold increased risk of MACE (95% CI 1.5, 4.4; p = 0.001). The ABI improved risk discrimination over classical risk factors, with relative IDIs ranging from 6.3% (for all-cause mortality) to 31% (for cardiovascular mortality). In addition, an ABI of ≤0.90 was associated with the development or worsening of peripheral neuropathy (2.1-fold increased risk [95% CI 1.1, 4.3]; p = 0.033), but not with retinopathy or renal outcomes.
A low ABI is associated with excess risk of adverse cardiovascular outcomes, mortality and peripheral neuropathy development or worsening, and improves cardiovascular risk stratification. The ABI should therefore be routinely evaluated in individuals with type 2 diabetes.
KeywordsAnkle–brachial index Cardiovascular outcomes Microvascular complications Mortality Type 2 diabetes
Integrated discrimination improvement
Major adverse cardiovascular events
Multi-Ethnic Study on Atherosclerosis
Peripheral arterial disease
Rio de Janeiro Type 2 Diabetes Cohort Study
CRLC, NCL and GFS conceived and designed the study, followed-up the participants and obtained the data. JVM performed the ABI measurements. CRLC drafted the manuscript. GCS and GFS analysed the data and GFS is the guarantor. All authors helped interpret the results, reviewed the manuscript and approved this version to be published. GFS had full access to all of the data and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of data analysis.
This study was supported by grants from the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq, Brazil) and from the Fundação Carlos Chagas Filho de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ, Brazil). The sponsors had no role in the study design, data collection or analysis, or interpretation of the results, or in the preparation, review and approval of the manuscript.
Duality of interest
The authors declare that there is no duality of interest associated with this manuscript.
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