Fasting Glucose Variation Predicts Microvascular Risk in ACC
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The association of glycemic variability with microvascular disease complications in type 2 diabetes (T2D) has been understudied and remains unclear. Researchers investigated this relationship using both Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes (ACCORD) and the Veteran Affairs Diabetes Trial (VADT).

In ACCORD, fasting plasma glucose (FPG) was measured 1-3 times/year for up to 84 months in 10,251 individuals. In the VADT, FPG was measured every 3 months for up to 87 months in 1,791 individuals. Variability measures included coefficient of variation (CV) and average real variability (ARV) for fasting glucose.

The primary composite outcome was time to either severe nephropathy or retinopathy event and secondary outcomes included each outcome individually. To assess the association, they considered variability measures as time-dependent covariates in Cox proportional hazard models. They conducted a meta-analysis across the two trials to estimate the risk of fasting glucose variability as well as to assess the heterogenous effects of FPG variability across treatment arms.

-- In both ACCORD and the VADT, CV and ARV of FPG were associated with development of future microvascular outcomes even after adjusting for other risk factors, including measures of average glycemic control (i.e., cumulative average of HbA1c).

-- Meta-analyses of these two trials confirmed these findings and indicated FPG variation may be more harmful in those with less intensive glucose control.

Conclusively, this post-hoc analysis indicates that variability of FPG plays a role in, and/or is an independent and readily available marker of, development of microvascular complications in T2D.