AIMS: Type 1 diabetic patients (T1DM) experience a higher cardiovascular disease and mortality risk than controls. We investigated whether visceral adipose tissue (VAT) contributes to coronary artery calcifications (CAC) and cardiac dysfunction in T1DM.
METHODS: A cross-sectional study of 118 T1DM patients without a history of cardiovascular disease (men/women: 68/50, age 46±12years, HbA1c 7.6±0.9%, BMI 25.8±4.1kg/m2) was conducted. CAC and VAT were measured using a CT scan. CAC was scored using the Agatston method. Cardiac functional abnormalities were assessed by echocardiography.
RESULTS: CAC scored ≥10 in 42% of patients. Systolic function was normal in all, but diastolic dysfunction was present in 75%. Forty-six percent had VAT≥100cm2. CAC score≥10 occurred more often in subjects with VAT≥100cm2 (54% vs 31%; p=0.01). Age (OR=1.10; p<0.0001), diabetes duration (OR=1.10; p=0.008), gender (OR=4.28; p=0.016), LDL-cholesterol (OR=1.03; p=0.009) and metabolic syndrome (OR=5.79; p=0.005) were independently associated with a CACS≥10. Subjects with CACS≥10 were more prone to have diastolic dysfunction (84 vs 54%; p=0.03). Factors independently associated with diastolic dysfunction were age (OR=1.11; p=0.002), waist circumference (OR=1.10; p=0.016) and VAT (OR=0.99; p=0.035).
CONCLUSIONS: Excess VAT in T1DM, present in 46%, is associated with diastolic dysfunction and CAC, present in respectively 75% and 42% of patients. Timely detection might improve future cardiovascular risk.