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Circulation. 2000 May 16;101(19):2271-6.

Impact of diabetes on cardiac structure and function: the strong heart study.

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New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, New York, USA.



Whether diabetes mellitus (DM) adversely affects left ventricular (LV) structure and function independently of increases in body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure is controversial.


Echocardiography was used in the Strong Heart Study, a study of cardiovascular disease in American Indians, to compare LV measurements between 1810 participants with DM and 944 with normal glucose tolerance. Participants with DM were older (mean age, 60 versus 59 years), had higher BMI (32.4 versus 28.9 kg/m(2)) and systolic blood pressure (133 versus 124 mm Hg), and were more likely to be female, to be on antihypertensive treatment, and to live in Arizona (all P<0.001). In analyses adjusted for covariates, women and men with DM had higher LV mass and wall thicknesses and lower LV fractional shortening, midwall shortening, and stress-corrected midwall shortening (all P<0.002). Pulse pressure/stroke volume, a measure of arterial stiffness, was higher in participants with DM (P<0.001 independent of confounders).


Non-insulin-dependent DM has independent adverse cardiac effects, including increased LV mass and wall thicknesses, reduced LV systolic chamber and myocardial function, and increased arterial stiffness. These findings identify adverse cardiovascular effects of DM, independent of associated increases in BMI and arterial pressure, that may contribute to cardiovascular events in diabetic individuals.

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