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Previous studies indicate that diabetic patients show evidence of coexisting systolic and diastolic myocardial dysfunction when examined by new echocardiographic techniques. Yet, there is no systematic investigation of the serial age-related changes of left ventricular anatomy and function in this patient population.One hundred and sixty type 2 diabetic patients and 110 non-diabetic controls, all with no evidence of heart disease, were studied. The participants were stratified into four distinct age-groups (A: <46, B: 46–60, C: 61–75, and D: >75 years) and underwent full echocardiographic examination. Conventional systolic and diastolic parameters were similar between the study groups. However, tissue Doppler imaging examination revealed an impaired systolic and diastolic longitudinal myocardial function in diabetic patients vs. controls, although these differences were not noticed within the youngest age-group. Diastolic dysfunction was established concomitantly in both diabetic and control subjects in age-group B. In contrast, diabetic patients showed an earlier induction of myocardial systolic dysfunction, evidenced by significantly lower average systolic longitudinal myocardial velocity in age-group B. Independent predictors of systolic myocardial dysfunction were age, glycated haemoglobin, and systemic blood pressure.Type 2 diabetic patients demonstrate an early and concomitant induction of systolic and diastolic myocardial dysfunction as a preclinical manifestation of diabetic cardiomyopathy.