To determine the incremental prognostic value of dobutamine stress echocardiography (DSE) at 13-year follow-up (SD 3.2 years) for predicting mortality and cardiac events in diabetic patients.RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
A total of 396 diabetic patients (mean age 61 ± 11 years; 252 men [64%]) with limited exercise capacity who underwent DSE for evaluation of ischemia were studied. End points were all causes of mortality, cardiac death, and hard cardiac events (cardiac death and nonfatal myocardial infarction).RESULTS
During a mean follow-up of 13 years, 230 patients (58%) died (121 cardiac deaths), and 30 patients had nonfatal myocardial infarction. Cumulative survival in patients with an abnormal DSE at 5, 10, and 15 years was 68, 49, and 41%, respectively. In patients with a normal DSE, these respective numbers were 74, 57, and 44%. Multivariate analyses showed that DSE provided incremental value over clinical characteristics and stress test parameters for prediction of mortality and cardiac events. Survival analysis showed that DSE provided optimal risk stratification up to 7 years after initial testing; after that period, the risk of adverse outcome increased comparably in both normal and abnormal DSE patients.CONCLUSIONS
DSE provided restricted predictive value of adverse outcome in patients with diabetes who were unable to perform an adequate exercise stress test. DSE provided optimal risk stratification up to 7 years after initial testing. Repeated DSE at that time might add to its prognostic value.