Prevalence and prognostic significance of cardiac autonomic neuropathy in community-based people with type 2 diabetes: the Fremantle Diabetes Study Phase II

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Abstract

Background: There is a paucity of contemporary data on the prevalence and prognostic significance of cardiac autonomic neuropathy (CAN) from community-based cohorts with type 2 diabetes assessed using gold standard methods. The aim of this study was to assess these aspects of CAN in the longitudinal observational Fremantle Diabetes Study Phase II (FDS2). Methods: FDS2 participants were screened at baseline using standardised cardiovascular reflex tests (CARTs) of heart rate variation during deep breathing, Valsalva manoeuvre and standing. CAN (no/possible/definite) was assessed from the number of abnormal CARTs. Multinomial regression identified independent associates of CAN status. Cox proportional hazards modelling determined independent baseline predictors of incident heart failure (HF) and ischaemic heart disease (IHD), and all-cause mortality. Results: Of 1254 participants assessed for CAN, 86 (6.9%) were outside CART age reference ranges and valid CART data were unavailable for 338 (27.0%). Of the remaining 830 (mean age 62.3 years, 55.3% males, median diabetes duration 7.3 years), 51.0%, 33.7% and 15.3% had no, possible or definite CAN, respectively. Independent associates of definite CAN (longer diabetes duration, higher body mass index and resting pulse rate, antidepressant and antihypertensive therapies, albuminuria, distal sensory polyneuropathy, prior HF) were consistent with those reported previously. In Kaplan–Meier analysis, definite CAN was associated with a lower likelihood of incident IHD and HF versus no/possible CAN (P < 0.001) and there was a graded increase in all-cause mortality risk from no CAN to possible and definite CAN (P < 0.001). When CAN category was added to the most parsimonious models, it was not a significant independent predictor of IHD (P ≥ 0.851) or HF (P ≥ 0.342). Possible CAN (hazard ratio (95% CI) 1.47 (1.01, 2.14), P = 0.046) and definite CAN (2.42 (1.60, 3.67), P < 0.001) increased the risk of all-cause mortality versus no CAN. Conclusions: Routine screening for CAN in type 2 diabetes has limited clinical but some prognostic value.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102
Number of pages16
JournalCardiovascular Diabetology
Volume23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2024

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