Retinopathy, Neuropathy, and Subsequent Cardiovascular Events in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes and Acute Coronary Syndrome in the ELIXA: The Importance of Disease Duration


INTRODUCTION: We investigated the association of diabetic retinopathy and neuropathy with increased risk of recurrent cardiovascular (CV) events in 6068 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and recent acute coronary syndrome (ACS) enrolled in the Evaluation of Lixisenatide in Acute Coronary Syndrome (ELIXA).

METHODS: History of retinopathy and neuropathy as well as duration of T2DM were self-reported at screening. Proportional hazards regression models were used to assess relationships between retinopathy, neuropathy, and recurrent CV events.

RESULTS: At screening, retinopathy and neuropathy were reported in 10.7% and 17.5% of patients, respectively, while 5.7% reported both. When adjusted for randomized treatment only, both retinopathy and neuropathy were associated with a primary composite outcome (CV death, nonfatal MI, stroke, or hospitalization for unstable angina) (retinopathy: HR 1.44, 95% CI 1.19–1.75; neuropathy: HR 1.33, 95% CI 1.12–1.57), CV composite (CV death, nonfatal MI, stroke, hospitalization for heart failure (HF)) (retinopathy: HR 1.57, 95% CI 1.31–1.88; neuropathy: HR 1.38, 95% CI 1.19–1.62), myocardial infarction (retinopathy: HR 1.38, 95% CI 1.08–1.76; neuropathy: HR 1.26, 95% CI 1.02–1.54), HF hospitalization (retinopathy: HR 2.03, 95% CI 1.48–2.78; neuropathy: HR 1.71, 95% CI 1.30–2.27), and all-cause mortality (retinopathy: HR 1.65, 95% CI 1.28–2.12; neuropathy: HR 1.43, 95% CI 1.14–1.78). When included in the same model, and adjusted for T2DM duration, there were no independent associations of either with CV outcomes, while T2DM duration remained strongly associated with all outcomes. Addition of demographic characteristics and CV risk factors did not further alter these relationships.

CONCLUSIONS: In patients with T2DM and recent ACS, a history of retinopathy and/or neuropathy and longer T2DM duration could be considered clinical markers for high risk of recurrent CV events. This trial is registered with the ELIXA (Evaluation of Lixisenatide in Acute Coronary Syndrome), registration number NCT01147250.

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Seferovic JP, Bentley-Lewis R, Claggett B, et al. J Diabetes Res 2018;2018:1631263.