open access

Vol 5, No 4 (2004): Practical Diabetology
Original articles (translated)
Published online: 2004-07-21
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Biological variation in HbA1c predicts risk of retinopathy and nephropathy in type 1 diabetes

Robert J. McCarter, James M. Hempe, Ricardo Gomez, Stuart A. Chalew
Diabetologia Praktyczna 2004;5(4):201-208.

open access

Vol 5, No 4 (2004): Practical Diabetology
Original articles (translated)
Published online: 2004-07-21

Abstract

INTRODUCTION. We hypothesized that biological variation in HbA1c, distinct from variation attributable to mean blood glucose (MBG), would predict risk for microvascular complications in the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT).
MATERIAL AND METHODS. A longitudinal multiple regression model was developed from MBG and HbA1c measured in the 1,441 DCCT participants at quarterly visits. A hemoglobin glycation index (HGI = observed HbA1c–predicted HbA1c) was calculated for each visit to assess biological variation based on the directional deviation of observed HbA1c from that predicted by MBG in the model. The population was subdivided by thirds into high-, moderate-, and low- HGI groups based on mean participant HGI during the study. Cox proportional hazard analysis compared risk for development or progression of retinopathy and nephropathy between HGI groups controlled for MBG, age, treatment group, strata, and duration of diabetes.
RESULTS. Likelihood ratio and t tests on HGI rejected the assumption that HbA1c levels were determined by MBG alone. At 7 years’ follow-up, patients in the high-HGI group (higher than-predicted HbA1c) had three times greater risk of retinopathy (30 vs. 9%; P < 0.001) and six times greater risk of nephropathy (6 vs. 1%; P < 0.001) compared with the low- HGI group.
CONCLUSIONS. Between-individual biological variation in HbA1c, which is distinct from that attributable to MBG, was evident among type 1 diabetic patients in the DCCT and was a strong predictor of risk for diabetes complications. Identification of the processes responsible for biological variation in HbA1c could lead to novel therapies to augment treatments directed at lowering blood glucose levels and preventing diabetes complications.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION. We hypothesized that biological variation in HbA1c, distinct from variation attributable to mean blood glucose (MBG), would predict risk for microvascular complications in the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT).
MATERIAL AND METHODS. A longitudinal multiple regression model was developed from MBG and HbA1c measured in the 1,441 DCCT participants at quarterly visits. A hemoglobin glycation index (HGI = observed HbA1c–predicted HbA1c) was calculated for each visit to assess biological variation based on the directional deviation of observed HbA1c from that predicted by MBG in the model. The population was subdivided by thirds into high-, moderate-, and low- HGI groups based on mean participant HGI during the study. Cox proportional hazard analysis compared risk for development or progression of retinopathy and nephropathy between HGI groups controlled for MBG, age, treatment group, strata, and duration of diabetes.
RESULTS. Likelihood ratio and t tests on HGI rejected the assumption that HbA1c levels were determined by MBG alone. At 7 years’ follow-up, patients in the high-HGI group (higher than-predicted HbA1c) had three times greater risk of retinopathy (30 vs. 9%; P < 0.001) and six times greater risk of nephropathy (6 vs. 1%; P < 0.001) compared with the low- HGI group.
CONCLUSIONS. Between-individual biological variation in HbA1c, which is distinct from that attributable to MBG, was evident among type 1 diabetic patients in the DCCT and was a strong predictor of risk for diabetes complications. Identification of the processes responsible for biological variation in HbA1c could lead to novel therapies to augment treatments directed at lowering blood glucose levels and preventing diabetes complications.
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Keywords

biological variation in HbA1c; glycated hemoglobin; type 1 diabetes; retinopathy; nephropathy

About this article
Title

Biological variation in HbA1c predicts risk of retinopathy and nephropathy in type 1 diabetes

Journal

Clinical Diabetology

Issue

Vol 5, No 4 (2004): Practical Diabetology

Pages

201-208

Published online

2004-07-21

Bibliographic record

Diabetologia Praktyczna 2004;5(4):201-208.

Keywords

biological variation in HbA1c
glycated hemoglobin
type 1 diabetes
retinopathy
nephropathy

Authors

Robert J. McCarter
James M. Hempe
Ricardo Gomez
Stuart A. Chalew

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