Multiple risk factor intervention and progression of coronary atherosclerosis in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus

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Diabetic patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) demonstrate accelerated progression of coronary atherosclerosis. The impact of multiple risk factor intervention on disease progression has not been investigated.


We investigated 448 diabetic patients with angiographic CAD who underwent serial intravascular ultrasound imaging to monitor the change in atheroma burden in seven clinical trials.


Disease progression was compared in patients stratified according to whether they achieved increasing numbers of treatment goals of individual risk factors (HbA1c <7.0%, LDL cholesterol <2.5 mmol/l, triglyceride <1.7 mmol/l, systolic blood pressure <130 mmHg, high sensitivity C-reactive protein <2.0 mg/l).


A high rate of established medical therapies was used in all patients (89% statins, 94% aspirin, 76% b-blockers, 66% ACE inhibitors, 66% metformin, 62% thiazolidinediones, 17% insulin). No differences were observed with regard to percentage atheroma volume (PAV) and total atheroma volume (TAV) at baseline. On serial evaluation, slowing of progression of PAV (p = 0.01) and TAV (p < 0.001) was observed with increasing numbers of risk factors achieving treatment goals. On multivariate analysis adjusting for baseline risk factors, increasing the number of factors meeting treatment goals continued to be associated with a beneficial impact on progression of PAV (p = 0.03) and TAV (p < 0.001).


The benefit of achieving optimal control of multiple risk factors underscores the need for modification of global risk in patients with diabetes.

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