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Diabet Med. 2004 Jul;21(7):738-45.

The prevalence of coronary heart disease in Type 2 diabetic patients in Italy: the DAI study.



Type 2 diabetes is associated with at least a twofold increase in risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). We aimed to estimate the prevalence of CHD in the population of Type 2 diabetics cared for by the Italian network of outpatient diabetic units.


The DAI (Diabetes and Informatics study group, Italian Association of Diabetologists, and Italian National Institute of Health) study is a multicentre cohort study of patients with Type 2 diabetes. Patients were classified as having CHD if they had: (i) a history for hospital admission for either an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) or angina; (ii) a positive ECG for prior AMI or angina; (iii) a positive history for coronary artery bypass graft; or (iv) a positive history for percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty.


A cohort of 19 468 patients was analysed: 3157 patients had CHD. The majority of events (80%) had occurred after the diagnosis of diabetes and were considered in the CHD prevalence estimate. The prevalence of CHD, adjusted by age and sex, was 9.9%: 11.0% male and 9.0% female. Angina without AMI occurred in 1306 patients; this condition was more frequent in females while a documented AMI was more frequent in males. Therapeutic procedures were performed more frequently in males. A positive association with CHD was found for gender, age at visit, duration of diabetes, hypertension, relatives with CHD, tryglicerides and microvascular complications.


The prevalence of CHD in this cohort is lower than previously reported; nevertheless, patients attending the diabetic care units may not be fully representative of the general diabetic population in Italy. Revascularization is less frequent in females than in males; microvascular complications and a worse metabolic control are significantly associated with CHD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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