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1.  Helicobacter pylori infection is identified as a cardiovascular risk factor in Central Africans 
Helicobacter pylori is now incriminated in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis.
To examine the importance of H. pylori infection as a cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factor.
Two hundred five patients (128 with H. pylori infection [HP-seropositive] and 77 without) had a baseline assessment for other potential CVD risk factors and were followed prospectively for 10 years (1999–2008). They were assessed on a monthly basis for the outcomes of carotid plaque, angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, and stroke. In the HP-seropositive group, male sex and quartile 4 for IgG anti-H. pylori antibodies (anti-HP Ab) were correlated with traditional CVD risk factors, stroke, myocardial infarction, and angina pectoris.
At the baseline assessment, the levels of carotid intima-media thickness, blood fibrinogen, total cholesterol, fasting plasma glucose, and uric acid were higher in H. pylori-infected patients than in the uninfected group. Serum HDL-cholesterol was significantly lower in the HP-seropositive group. Men had higher levels of IgG anti-HP Ab, waist circumference, blood pressure, uric acid, and total cholesterol than women. Within the HP-seropositive group, individuals in quartile 4 for IgG anti-HP Ab had higher rates of elevated fibrinogen, diabetes mellitus, low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, arterial hypertension, and high total cholesterol than those in quartile 1. After adjusting for traditional CVD risk factors, H. pylori infection was the only independent predictor of incident carotid plaque (multivariate odds ratio [OR] = 2.3, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.2–7.2; P < 0.0001) and incident acute stroke (multivariate OR = 3.6, 95% CI: 1.4–8.2; P < 0.0001). Within the HP-seropositive group and after adjusting for traditional CVD risk factors, male sex was the only independent predictor of incident angina pectoris (multivariate OR = 3.5, 95% CI: 1.6–16; P < 0.0001), incident acute stroke (multivariate OR = 3.2, 95% CI: 1.4–28; P < 0.0001), and acute myocardial infarction (multivariate OR = 7.2, 95% CI: 3.1–18; P < 0.0001).
Our study provides evidence for an association among known CVD risk factors, carotid plaque, stroke, and H. pylori infection. Among infected individuals, there is a significant association among severity of HP-seropositivity, male sex, and CVD. The eradication of H. pylori infection may therefore reduce the emerging burden of CVD in Africa.
PMCID: PMC3423148  PMID: 22923995
Helicobacter pylori; stroke; myocardial infarction; cardiovascular disease; carotid plaque; Africans
2.  Prevalence of diabetes and other cardiovascular risk factors in an Iranian population with acute coronary syndrome 
Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in industrialized countries and most patients with diabetes die from complications of atherosclerosis. The objective of this study was to determine the presence of diabetes mellitus and other conventional coronary heart disease risk factors (cigarette smoking, hypertension and hyperlipidemia) in patients with acute coronary events in an Iranian population.
The study included 514 patients with unstable angina or myocardial infarction (MI) out of 720 patients admitted to CCU ward of a general hospital from March 2003 to March 2005. History of diabetes, hypertension and cigarette smoking, demographic indices, coronary heart disease and diabetes mellitus treatment, myocardial enzymes, serum triglycerides (TG) and cholesterol and fasting and non fasting blood glucose levels and HbA1C of diabetics were recorded of admission sheets. The data were structured to appropriate one way ANOVA, T tests, and chi square test with SPSS 13 product for windows.
Out of all patients 35.8% were female, 30% were diabetics (Duration 13.4 ± 8.7 years), 42% were smoker and 91% were hypertensive. Twenty four percent had MI and 76% had unstable angina. MI was significantly higher in diabetic patients (36.4% vs. 19.2%, P < 0.001). Location and extension of MI and myocardial enzymes did not differ between diabetics and non-diabetic patients. Diabetic patients were older than non diabetics (65 ± 11.6 vs. 59.7 ± 12.5 years, p < 0.05). Five (66.7%) out of 9 patients with fatal MI were diabetics (Odds Ratio = 2.98). Age, duration of diabetes and HbA1c levels, did not differ between diabetic patients with or without MI. Hypertension and current smoking was significantly higher in patients with MI compared to patients with unstable angina (p < 0.05). Serum TG, HDL-C, LDL-C and total cholesterol level did not differ between patients with MI and unstable angina. Diabetic patients compare to non diabetic patients were more hypertensive (96% vs. 88.7%, p < 0.005) and had higher serum triglyceride (TG over 200 mg/dl, 35.1% vs. 26.4, p <0.05). Diabetes was more frequent among women than men (36.4% vs. 26.4%, p < 0.05). Women were older than men (65 ± 11.6 vs. 59.2 ± 13 years, p < 0.005) and had higher total serum cholesterol (200 ± 41.8 vs. 192 ± 42.5 mg/dl, p < 0.05) and HDL-C levels (49.7 ± 22 vs. 40 ± 13 mg/dl, p < 0.005). Ninety seven percent of all patients had at least one of cardiovascular risk factors (hypertension, smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol and low HDL-cholesterol levels).
In this study 19 out of 20 patients with acute coronary event have at least one of conventional cardiac risk factors. Diabetes and hypertension are leading risk factors, which may directly or indirectly interfere and predict more serious complications of coronary heart disease.
PMCID: PMC1550715  PMID: 16842631
3.  Independent Associations of Fasting Insulin, Glucose, and Glycated Haemoglobin with Stroke and Coronary Heart Disease in Older Women 
PLoS Medicine  2007;4(8):e263.
Evidence suggests that variations in fasting glucose and insulin amongst those without frank type 2 diabetes mellitus are important determinants of cardiovascular disease. However, the relative importance of variations in fasting insulin, glucose, and glycated haemoglobin as risk factors for cardiovascular disease in women without diabetes is unclear. Our aim was to determine the independent associations of fasting insulin, glucose, and glycated haemoglobin with coronary heart disease and stroke in older women.
Methods and Findings
We undertook a prospective cohort study of 3,246 British women aged 60–79 y, all of whom were free of baseline coronary heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, and all of whom had fasting glucose levels below 7 mmol/l. Fasting insulin and homeostasis model assessment for insulin sensitivity (HOMA-S) were linearly associated with a combined outcome of coronary heart disease or stroke (n = 219 events), but there was no association of fasting glucose or glycated haemoglobin with these outcomes. Results were similar for coronary heart disease and stroke as separate outcomes. The age, life-course socioeconomic position, smoking, and physical activity adjusted hazard ratio for a combined outcome of incident coronary heart disease or stroke per one standard deviation of fasting insulin was 1.14 (95% CI 1.02–1.33). Additional adjustment for other components of metabolic syndrome, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, fasting glucose, and glycated haemoglobin had little effect on this result.
Our findings suggest that in women in the 60–79 y age range, insulin resistance, rather than insulin secretion or chronic hyperglycaemia, is a more important risk factor for coronary heart disease and stroke. Below currently used thresholds of fasting glucose for defining diabetes, neither fasting glucose nor glycated haemoglobin are associated with cardiovascular disease.
From a prospective study of women aged 60-79 years, Debbie Lawlor and colleagues conclude that insulin resistance is an important risk factor for coronary heart disease and stroke.
Editors' Summary
Narrowing of the vessels that take blood to the heart and brain is a common form of cardiovascular disease—i.e., a disorder of the heart and blood vessels. It is a major cause of illness and death. By starving the heart and brain of oxygen, this condition causes coronary heart disease (CHD; heart problems such as angina and heart attacks) and strokes. A major risk factor for CHD and strokes is diabetes, a common chronic disease characterized by high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. In people who don't have diabetes, the hormone insulin controls blood-sugar levels. Insulin, which is released by the pancreas after eating, “instructs” insulin-responsive muscle and fat cells to absorb the glucose (released from food) from the bloodstream. In the very early stages of type 2 diabetes (the commonest type of diabetes, also called “adult onset” or “noninsulin-dependent” diabetes”), muscle and fat cells become unresponsive to insulin, so blood-sugar levels increase. This is called “insulin resistance.” The pancreas responds by making more insulin. As a result, people with insulin resistance have high blood levels of both insulin (hyperinsulinemia) and glucose (hyperglycemia). Eventually, the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas start to malfunction, insulin secretion decreases, and type 2 diabetes is the result.
Why Was This Study Done?
It is not yet clear whether it is insulin resistance or reduced insulin secretion that is responsible for the association between diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Physicians would like to know this information to help them to prevent CHD and strokes in their patients. There is evidence that variations in fasting glucose levels (blood glucose measured more than 8 h after eating), which provide an indication of how well pancreatic cells are producing insulin, and in fasting insulin levels, which provide an indication of insulin resistance, determine cardiovascular disease risk among people without type 2 diabetes, but the relative importance of these risk factors is unclear. In this study, the researchers have investigated whether markers of insulin resistance (fasting hyperinsulinemia) and of altered insulin secretion (fasting hyperglycemia, and increased glycated hemoglobin, which indicates how much sugar has been in the blood over the past few months) are associated with CHD and strokes in elderly women without diabetes. Their aim is to gain new insights into how diabetes affects cardiovascular disease risk.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers measured glucose, insulin, and glycated hemoglobulin in fasting blood samples taken from about 3,000 women aged 60–79 y when they enrolled in the British Women's Heart and Health Study. None of the women had CHD at enrollment, none had had a stroke, none had diagnosed diabetes, and all had a fasting blood glucose below 7 mmol/l (a higher reading indicates diabetes). After monitoring the women for nearly 5 y for CHD and strokes, the researchers looked for statistical associations between the occurrence of cardiovascular disease and markers of insulin resistance and reduced insulin secretion. They found that fasting insulin levels, but not fasting glucose or glycated hemoglobin levels, were associated with CHD and stroke, even after allowing for other factors that affect cardiovascular disease risk such as smoking and physical activity. In other words, raised fasting insulin levels increased the women's risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These results indicate that in elderly women without diabetes, fasting insulin (a marker of insulin resistance) is a better predictor of future cardiovascular disease risk than fasting glucose or glycated hemoglobin (markers of reduced insulin secretion). This suggests that insulin resistance might be the main mechanism linking type 2 diabetes to CHD and stroke in elderly women. (Elderly women are known to run a high risk of developing these conditions, but they have been relatively neglected in previous studies of the risk factors for cardiovascular disease.) However, because relatively few women developed CHD during the study and even fewer had a stroke, this conclusion needs confirming in larger studies, preferably ones that include more rigorous tests of insulin resistance and secretion and also include women from more ethnic backgrounds than this study did. If the association between fasting insulin levels and cardiovascular disease risk is confirmed, therapeutic interventions or lifestyle interventions (for example, increased physical activity or weight loss) that prevent or reverse insulin resistance might reduce cardiovascular disease risk better than interventions that prevent chronic hyperglycemia.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
MedlinePlus encyclopedia page on coronary heart disease, stroke, and diabetes (in English and Spanish)
Information for patients and caregivers from the US National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse on diabetes, including information on insulin resistance and on diabetes, heart disease, and stroke
Information on the British Women's Heart and Health Study
PMCID: PMC1952205  PMID: 17760500
4.  Impact of newly diagnosed abnormal glucose regulation on long-term prognosis in low risk patients with ST-elevation myocardial infarction: A follow-up study 
Patients with acute myocardial infarction and newly detected abnormal glucose regulation have been shown to have a less favourable prognosis compared to patients with normal glucose regulation. The importance and timing of oral glucose tolerance testing (OGTT) in patients with acute myocardial infarction without known diabetes is uncertain. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the impact of abnormal glucose regulation classified by an OGTT in-hospital and at three-month follow-up on clinical outcome in patients with acute ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) without known diabetes.
Patients (n = 224, age 58 years) with a primary percutanous coronary intervention (PCI) treated STEMI were followed for clinical events (all-cause mortality, non-fatal myocardial re-infarction, recurrent ischemia causing hospital admission, and stroke). The patients were classified by a standardised 75 g OGTT at two time points, first, at a median time of 16.5 hours after hospital admission, then at three-month follow-up. Based on the OGTT results, the patients were categorised according to the WHO criteria and the term abnormal glucose regulation was defined as the sum of impaired fasting glucose, impaired glucose tolerance and type 2-diabetes.
The number of patients diagnosed with abnormal glucose regulation in-hospital and at three-month was 105 (47%) and 50 (25%), respectively. During the follow up time of (median) 33 (27, 39) months, 58 (25.9%) patients experienced a new clinical event. There were six deaths, 15 non-fatal re-infarction, 33 recurrent ischemia, and four strokes. Kaplan-Meier analysis of survival free of composite end-points showed similar results in patients with abnormal and normal glucose regulation, both when classified in-hospital (p = 0.4) and re-classified three months later (p = 0.3).
Patients with a primary PCI treated STEMI, without previously known diabetes, appear to have an excellent long-term prognosis, independent of the glucometabolic state classified by an OGTT in-hospital or at three-month follow-up.
Trial registration
The trial is registered at, NCT00926133.
PMCID: PMC3173358  PMID: 21801387
5.  Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics—2011 Update 
Circulation  2010;123(4):e18-e209.
Each year, the American Heart Association (AHA), in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, and other government agencies, brings together the most up-to-date statistics on heart disease, stroke, other vascular diseases, and their risk factors and presents them in its Heart Disease and Stroke Statistical Update. The Statistical Update is a valuable resource for researchers, clinicians, healthcare policy makers, media professionals, the lay public, and many others who seek the best national data available on disease morbidity and mortality and the risks, quality of care, medical procedures and operations, and costs associated with the management of these diseases in a single document. Indeed, since 1999, the Statistical Update has been cited more than 8700 times in the literature (including citations of all annual versions). In 2009 alone, the various Statistical Updates were cited ≈1600 times (data from ISI Web of Science). In recent years, the Statistical Update has undergone some major changes with the addition of new chapters and major updates across multiple areas. For this year’s edition, the Statistics Committee, which produces the document for the AHA, updated all of the current chapters with the most recent nationally representative data and inclusion of relevant articles from the literature over the past year and added a new chapter detailing how family history and genetics play a role in cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. Also, the 2011 Statistical Update is a major source for monitoring both cardiovascular health and disease in the population, with a focus on progress toward achievement of the AHA’s 2020 Impact Goals. Below are a few highlights from this year’s Update.
Death Rates From CVD Have Declined, Yet the Burden of Disease Remains High
The 2007 overall death rate from CVD (International Classification of Diseases 10, I00–I99) was 251.2 per 100 000. The rates were 294.0 per 100 000 for white males, 405.9 per 100 000 for black males, 205.7 per 100 000 for white females, and 286.1 per 100 000 for black females. From 1997 to 2007, the death rate from CVD declined 27.8%. Mortality data for 2007 show that CVD (I00–I99; Q20–Q28) accounted for 33.6% (813 804) of all 2 243 712 deaths in 2007, or 1 of every 2.9 deaths in the United States.
On the basis of 2007 mortality rate data, more than 2200 Americans die of CVD each day, an average of 1 death every 39 seconds. More than 150 000 Americans killed by CVD (I00–I99) in 2007 were <65 years of age. In 2007, nearly 33% of deaths due to CVD occurred before the age of 75 years, which is well before the average life expectancy of 77.9 years.
Coronary heart disease caused ≈1 of every 6 deaths in the United States in 2007. Coronary heart disease mortality in 2007 was 406 351. Each year, an estimated 785 000 Americans will have a new coronary attack, and ≈470 000 will have a recurrent attack. It is estimated that an additional 195 000 silent first myocardial infarctions occur each year. Approximately every 25 seconds, an American will have a coronary event, and approximately every minute, someone will die of one.
Each year, ≈795 000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke. Approximately 610 000 of these are first attacks, and 185 000 are recurrent attacks. Mortality data from 2007 indicate that stroke accounted for ≈1 of every 18 deaths in the United States. On average, every 40 seconds, someone in the United States has a stroke. From 1997 to 2007, the stroke death rate fell 44.8%, and the actual number of stroke deaths declined 14.7%.
In 2007, 1 in 9 death certificates (277 193 deaths) in the United States mentioned heart failure.
Prevalence and Control of Traditional Risk Factors Remains an Issue for Many Americans
Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2005–2008 indicate that 33.5% of US adults ≥20 years of age have hypertension (Table 7-1). This amounts to an estimated 76 400 000 US adults with hypertension. The prevalence of hypertension is nearly equal between men and women. African American adults have among the highest rates of hypertension in the world, at 44%. Among hypertensive adults, ≈80% are aware of their condition, 71% are using antihypertensive medication, and only 48% of those aware that they have hypertension have their condition controlled.
Despite 4 decades of progress, in 2008, among Americans ≥18 years of age, 23.1% of men and 18.3% of women continued to be cigarette smokers. In 2009, 19.5% of students in grades 9 through 12 reported current tobacco use. The percentage of the nonsmoking population with detectable serum cotinine (indicating exposure to secondhand smoke) was 46.4% in 1999 to 2004, with declines occurring, and was highest for those 4 to 11 years of age (60.5%) and those 12 to 19 years of age (55.4%).
An estimated 33 600 000 adults ≥20 years of age have total serum cholesterol levels ≥240 mg/dL, with a prevalence of 15.0% (Table 13-1).
In 2008, an estimated 18 300 000 Americans had diagnosed diabetes mellitus, representing 8.0% of the adult population. An additional 7 100 000 had undiagnosed diabetes mellitus, and 36.8% had prediabetes, with abnormal fasting glucose levels. African Americans, Mexican Americans, Hispanic/Latino individuals, and other ethnic minorities bear a strikingly disproportionate burden of diabetes mellitus in the United States (Table 16-1).
The 2011 Update Expands Data Coverage of the Obesity Epidemic and Its Antecedents and Consequences
The estimated prevalence of overweight and obesity in US adults (≥20 years of age) is 149 300 000, which represents 67.3% of this group in 2008. Fully 33.7% of US adults are obese (body mass index ≥30 kg/m2). Men and women of all race/ethnic groups in the population are affected by the epidemic of overweight and obesity (Table 15-1).
Among children 2 to 19 years of age, 31.9% are overweight and obese (which represents 23 500 000 children), and 16.3% are obese (12 000 000 children). Mexican American boys and girls and African American girls are disproportionately affected. Over the past 3 decades, the prevalence of obesity in children 6 to 11 years of age has increased from ≈4% to more than 20%.
Obesity (body mass index ≥30 kg/m2) is associated with marked excess mortality in the US population. Even more notable is the excess morbidity associated with overweight and obesity in terms of risk factor development and incidence of diabetes mellitus, CVD end points (including coronary heart disease, stroke, and heart failure), and numerous other health conditions, including asthma, cancer, degenerative joint disease, and many others.
The prevalence of diabetes mellitus is increasing dramatically over time, in parallel with the increases in prevalence of overweight and obesity.
On the basis of NHANES 2003–2006 data, the age-adjusted prevalence of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of major cardiovascular risk factors related to overweight/obesity and insulin resistance, is 34% (35.1% among men and 32.6% among women).
The proportion of youth (≤18 years of age) who report engaging in no regular physical activity is high, and the proportion increases with age. In 2007, among adolescents in grades 9 through 12, 29.9% of girls and 17.0% of boys reported that they had not engaged in 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, defined as any activity that increased heart rate or breathing rate, even once in the previous 7 days, despite recommendations that children engage in such activity ≥5 days per week.
Thirty-six percent of adults reported engaging in no vigorous activity (activity that causes heavy sweating and a large increase in breathing or heart rate).
Data from NHANES indicate that between 1971 and 2004, average total energy consumption among US adults increased by 22% in women (from 1542 to 1886 kcal/d) and by 10% in men (from 2450 to 2693 kcal/d; see Chart 19-1).
The increases in calories consumed during this time period are attributable primarily to greater average carbohydrate intake, in particular, of starches, refined grains, and sugars. Other specific changes related to increased caloric intake in the United States include larger portion sizes, greater food quantity and calories per meal, and increased consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, snacks, commercially prepared (especially fast food) meals, and higher energy-density foods.
The 2011 Update Provides Critical Data Regarding Cardiovascular Quality of Care, Procedure Utilization, and Costs
In light of the current national focus on healthcare utilization, costs, and quality, it is critical to monitor and understand the magnitude of healthcare delivery and costs, as well as the quality of healthcare delivery, related to CVDs. The Update provides these critical data in several sections.
Quality-of-Care Metrics for CVDs
Chapter 20 reviews many metrics related to the quality of care delivered to patients with CVDs, as well as healthcare disparities. In particular, quality data are available from the AHA’s “Get With The Guidelines” programs for coronary artery disease and heart failure and the American Stroke Association/ AHA’s “Get With the Guidelines” program for acute stroke. Similar data from the Veterans Healthcare Administration, national Medicare and Medicaid data and National Cardiovascular Data Registry Acute Coronary Treatment and Intervention Outcomes Network - “Get With The Guidelines” Registry data are also reviewed. These data show impressive adherence with guideline recommendations for many, but not all, metrics of quality of care for these hospitalized patients. Data are also reviewed on screening for cardiovascular risk factor levels and control.
Cardiovascular Procedure Utilization and Costs
Chapter 21 provides data on trends and current usage of cardiovascular surgical and invasive procedures. For example, the total number of inpatient cardiovascular operations and procedures increased 27%, from 5 382 000 in 1997 to 6 846 000 in 2007 (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute computation based on National Center for Health Statistics annual data).
Chapter 22 reviews current estimates of direct and indirect healthcare costs related to CVDs, stroke, and related conditions using Medical Expenditure Panel Survey data. The total direct and indirect cost of CVD and stroke in the United States for 2007 is estimated to be $286 billion. This figure includes health expenditures (direct costs, which include the cost of physicians and other professionals, hospital services, prescribed medications, home health care, and other medical durables) and lost productivity resulting from mortality (indirect costs). By comparison, in 2008, the estimated cost of all cancer and benign neoplasms was $228 billion ($93 billion in direct costs, $19 billion in morbidity indirect costs, and $116 billion in mortality indirect costs). CVD costs more than any other diagnostic group.
The AHA, through its Statistics Committee, continuously monitors and evaluates sources of data on heart disease and stroke in the United States to provide the most current data available in the Statistics Update. The 2007 mortality data have been released. More information can be found at the National Center for Health Statistics Web site,
Finally, it must be noted that this annual Statistical Update is the product of an entire year’s worth of effort by dedicated professionals, volunteer physicians and scientists, and outstanding AHA staff members, without whom publication of this valuable resource would be impossible. Their contributions are gratefully acknowledged. Véronique L. Roger, MD, MPH, FAHAMelanie B. Turner, MPHOn behalf of the American Heart Association Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics Writing Group
Note: Population data used in the compilation of NHANES prevalence estimates is for the latest year of the NHANES survey being used. Extrapolations for NHANES prevalence estimates are based on the census resident population for 2008 because this is the most recent year of NHANES data used in the Statistical Update.
PMCID: PMC4418670  PMID: 21160056
AHA Statistical Update; cardiovascular diseases; epidemiology; risk factors; statistics; stroke
6.  Report of the Committee on the Classification and Diagnostic Criteria of Diabetes Mellitus 
Concept of Diabetes Mellitus:
Diabetes mellitus is a group of diseases associated with various metabolic disorders, the main feature of which is chronic hyperglycemia due to insufficient insulin action. Its pathogenesis involves both genetic and environmental factors. The long‐term persistence of metabolic disorders can cause susceptibility to specific complications and also foster arteriosclerosis. Diabetes mellitus is associated with a broad range of clinical presentations, from being asymptomatic to ketoacidosis or coma, depending on the degree of metabolic disorder.
Classification (Tables 1 and 2, and Figure 1):
 Etiological classification of diabetes mellitus and glucose metabolism disorders
Note: Those that cannot at present be classified as any of the above are called unclassifiable.
The occurrence of diabetes‐specific complications has not been confirmed in some of these conditions.
 Diabetes mellitus and glucose metabolism disorders due to other specific mechanisms and diseases
The occurrence of diabetes‐specific complications has not been confirmed in some of these conditions.
 A scheme of the relationship between etiology (mechanism) and patho‐physiological stages (states) of diabetes mellitus. Arrows pointing right represent worsening of glucose metabolism disorders (including onset of diabetes mellitus). Among the arrow lines, indicates the condition classified as ‘diabetes mellitus’. Arrows pointing left represent improvement in the glucose metabolism disorder. The broken lines indicate events of low frequency. For example, in type 2 diabetes mellitus, infection can lead to ketoacidosis and require temporary insulin treatment for survival. Also, once diabetes mellitus has developed, it is treated as diabetes mellitus regardless of improvement in glucose metabolism, therefore, the arrow lines pointing left are filled in black. In such cases, a broken line is used, because complete normalization of glucose metabolism is rare.
The classification of glucose metabolism disorders is principally derived from etiology, and includes staging of pathophysiology based on the degree of deficiency of insulin action. These disorders are classified into four groups: (i) type 1 diabetes mellitus; (ii) type 2 diabetes mellitus; (iii) diabetes mellitus due to other specific mechanisms or diseases; and (iv) gestational diabetes mellitus. Type 1 diabetes is characterized by destruction of pancreatic β‐cells. Type 2 diabetes is characterized by combinations of decreased insulin secretion and decreased insulin sensitivity (insulin resistance). Glucose metabolism disorders in category (iii) are divided into two subgroups; subgroup A is diabetes in which a genetic abnormality has been identified, and subgroup B is diabetes associated with other pathologic disorders or clinical conditions. The staging of glucose metabolism includes normal, borderline and diabetic stages depending on the degree of hyperglycemia occurring as a result of the lack of insulin action or clinical condition. The diabetic stage is then subdivided into three substages: non‐insulin‐ requiring, insulin‐requiring for glycemic control, and insulin‐dependent for survival. The two former conditions are called non‐insulin‐dependent diabetes and the latter is known as insulin‐dependent diabetes. In each individual, these stages may vary according to the deterioration or the improvement of the metabolic state, either spontaneously or by treatment.
Diagnosis (Tables 3–7 and Figure 2):
 Criteria of fasting plasma glucose levels and 75 g oral glucose tolerance test 2‐h value
*Casual plasma glucose ≥200 mg/dL (≥11.1 mmol/L) and HbA1c≥6.5% are also regarded as to indicate diabetic type.
Even for normal type, if 1‐h value is 180 mg/dL (10.0 mmol/L), the risk of progression to diabetes mellitus is greater than for <180 mg/dL (10.0 mmol/L) and should be treated as with borderline type (follow‐up observation, etc.). Fasting plasma glucose level of 100–109 mg/dL (5.5–6.0 mmol/L) is called ‘high‐normal’: within the range of normal fasting plasma glucose.
Plasma glucose level after glucose load in oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) is not included in casual plasma glucose levels. The value for HbA1c (%) is indicated with 0.4% added to HbA1c (JDS) (%).
 Procedures for diagnosing diabetes mellitus
*The value for HbA1c (%) is indicated with 0.4% added to HbA1c (JDS) (%). **Hyperglycemia must be confirmed in a non‐stressful condition. OGTT, oral glucose tolerance test.
 Disorders and conditions associated with low HbA1c values
 Situations where a 75‐g oral glucose tolerance test is recommended
*The value for HbA1c (%) is indicated with 0.4% added to HbA1c (JDS) (%).
 Definition and diagnostic criteria of gestational diabetes mellitus
(IADPSG Consensus Panel, Reference 42, partly modified with permission of Diabetes Care).
 Flow chart outlining steps in the clinical diagnosis of diabetes mellitus. *The value for HbA1c (%) is indicated with 0.4% added to HbA1c (JDS) (%).
Categories of the State of Glycemia:  Confirmation of chronic hyperglycemia is essential for the diagnosis of diabetes mellitus. When plasma glucose levels are used to determine the categories of glycemia, patients are classified as having a diabetic type if they meet one of the following criteria: (i) fasting plasma glucose level of ≥126 mg/dL (≥7.0 mmol/L); (ii) 2‐h value of ≥200 mg/dL (≥11.1 mmol/L) in 75 g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT); or (iii) casual plasma glucose level of ≥200 mg/dL (≥11.1 mmol/L). Normal type is defined as fasting plasma glucose level of <110 mg/dL (<6.1 mmol/L) and 2‐h value of <140 mg/dL (<7.8 mmol/L) in OGTT. Borderline type (neither diabetic nor normal type) is defined as falling between the diabetic and normal values. According to the current revision, in addition to the earlier listed plasma glucose values, hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) has been given a more prominent position as one of the diagnostic criteria. That is, (iv) HbA1c≥6.5% is now also considered to indicate diabetic type. The value of HbA1c, which is equivalent to the internationally used HbA1c (%) (HbA1c [NGSP]) defined by the NGSP (National Glycohemoglobin Standardization Program), is expressed by adding 0.4% to the HbA1c (JDS) (%) defined by the Japan Diabetes Society (JDS).
Subjects with borderline type have a high rate of developing diabetes mellitus, and correspond to the combination of impaired fasting glucose (IFG) and impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) noted by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and WHO. Although borderline cases show few of the specific complications of diabetes mellitus, the risk of arteriosclerosis is higher than those of normal type. When HbA1c is 6.0–6.4%, suspected diabetes mellitus cannot be excluded, and when HbA1c of 5.6–5.9% is included, it forms a group with a high risk for developing diabetes mellitus in the future, even if they do not have it currently.
Clinical Diagnosis:  1 If any of the criteria for diabetic type (i) through to (iv) is observed at the initial examination, the patient is judged to be ‘diabetic type’. Re‐examination is conducted on another day, and if ‘diabetic type’ is reconfirmed, diabetes mellitus is diagnosed. However, a diagnosis cannot be made only by the re‐examination of HbA1c alone. Moreover, if the plasma glucose values (any of criteria [i], [ii], or [iii]) and the HbA1c (criterion [iv]) in the same blood sample both indicate diabetic type, diabetes mellitus is diagnosed based on the initial examination alone. If HbA1c is used, it is essential that the plasma glucose level (criteria [i], [ii] or [iii]) also indicates diabetic type for a diagnosis of diabetes mellitus. When diabetes mellitus is suspected, HbA1c should be measured at the same time as examination for plasma glucose.2 If the plasma glucose level indicates diabetic type (any of [i], [ii], or [iii]) and either of the following conditions exists, diabetes mellitus can be diagnosed immediately at the initial examination.• The presence of typical symptoms of diabetes mellitus (thirst, polydipsia, polyuria, weight loss)• The presence of definite diabetic retinopathy3 If it can be confirmed that the above conditions 1 or 2 existed in the past, diabetes mellitus can be diagnosed or suspected regardless of the current test results.4 If the diagnosis of diabetes cannot be established by these procedures, the patient is followed up and re‐examined after an appropriate interval.5 The physician should assess not only the presence or absence of diabetes, but also its etiology and glycemic stage, and the presence and absence of diabetic complications or associated conditions.
Epidemiological Study:  For the purpose of estimating the frequency of diabetes mellitus, ‘diabetes mellitus’ can be substituted for the determination of ‘diabetic type’ from a single examination. In this case, HbA1c≥6.5% alone can be defined as ‘diabetes mellitus’.
Health Screening:  It is important not to misdiagnose diabetes mellitus, and thus clinical information such as family history and obesity should be referred to at the time of screening in addition to an index for plasma glucose level.
Gestational Diabetes Mellitus:  There are two hyperglycemic disorders in pregnancy: (i) gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM); and (ii) diabetes mellitus. GDM is diagnosed if one or more of the following criteria is met in a 75 g OGTT during pregnancy:
1 Fasting plasma glucose level of ≥92 mg/dL (5.1 mmol/L)2 1‐h value of ≥180 mg/dL (10.0 mmol/L)3 2‐h value of ≥153 mg/dL (8.5 mmol/L)
However, diabetes mellitus that is diagnosed by the clinical diagnosis of diabetes mellitus defined earlier is excluded from GDM. (J Diabetes Invest, doi: 10.1111/j.2040‐1124.2010.00074.x, 2010)
PMCID: PMC4020724  PMID: 24843435
Diabetes mellitus; Clinical diagnosis; HbA1c
7.  Impaired Glucose Tolerance or Newly Diagnosed Diabetes Mellitus Diagnosed during Admission Adversely Affects Prognosis after Myocardial Infarction: An Observational Study 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(11):e0142045.
To investigate the prognostic effect of newly diagnosed diabetes mellitus (NDM) and impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) post myocardial infarction (MI).
Research Design and Methods
Retrospective cohort study of 768 patients without preexisting diabetes mellitus post-MI at one centre in Yorkshire between November 2005 and October 2008. Patients were categorised as normal glucose tolerance (NGT n = 337), IGT (n = 279) and NDM (n = 152) on pre- discharge oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Primary end-point was the first occurrence of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) including cardiovascular death, non-fatal MI, severe heart failure (HF) or non-haemorrhagic stroke. Secondary end-points were all cause mortality and individual components of MACE.
Prevalence of NGT, impaired fasting glucose (IFG), IGT and NDM changed from 90%, 6%, 0% and 4% on fasting plasma glucose (FPG) to 43%, 1%, 36% and 20% respectively after OGTT. 102 deaths from all causes (79 as first events of which 46 were cardiovascular), 95 non fatal MI, 18 HF and 9 non haemorrhagic strokes occurred during 47.2 ± 9.4 months follow up. Event free survival was lower in IGT and NDM groups. IGT (HR 1.54, 95% CI: 1.06–2.24, p = 0.024) and NDM (HR 2.15, 95% CI: 1.42–3.24, p = 0.003) independently predicted MACE free survival. IGT and NDM also independently predicted incidence of MACE. NDM but not IGT increased the risk of secondary end-points.
Presence of IGT and NDM in patients presenting post-MI, identified using OGTT, is associated with increased incidence of MACE and is associated with adverse outcomes despite adequate secondary prevention.
PMCID: PMC4646628  PMID: 26571120
8.  Rationale, design, and baseline characteristics of a randomized, placebo-controlled cardiovascular outcome trial of empagliflozin (EMPA-REG OUTCOME™) 
Evidence concerning the importance of glucose lowering in the prevention of cardiovascular (CV) outcomes remains controversial. Given the multi-faceted pathogenesis of atherosclerosis in diabetes, it is likely that any intervention to mitigate this risk must address CV risk factors beyond glycemia alone. The SGLT-2 inhibitor empagliflozin improves glucose control, body weight and blood pressure when used as monotherapy or add-on to other antihyperglycemic agents in patients with type 2 diabetes. The aim of the ongoing EMPA-REG OUTCOME™ trial is to determine the long-term CV safety of empagliflozin, as well as investigating potential benefits on macro-/microvascular outcomes.
Patients who were drug-naïve (HbA1c ≥7.0% and ≤9.0%), or on background glucose-lowering therapy (HbA1c ≥7.0% and ≤10.0%), and were at high risk of CV events, were randomized (1:1:1) and treated with empagliflozin 10 mg, empagliflozin 25 mg, or placebo (double blind, double dummy) superimposed upon the standard of care. The primary outcome is time to first occurrence of CV death, non-fatal myocardial infarction, or non-fatal stroke. CV events will be prospectively adjudicated by an independent Clinical Events Committee. The trial will continue until ≥691 confirmed primary outcome events have occurred, providing a power of 90% to yield an upper limit of the adjusted 95% CI for a hazard ratio of <1.3 with a one-sided α of 0.025, assuming equal risks between placebo and empagliflozin (both doses pooled). Hierarchical testing for superiority will follow for the primary outcome and key secondary outcomes (time to first occurrence of CV death, non-fatal myocardial infarction, non-fatal stroke or hospitalization for unstable angina pectoris) where non-inferiority is achieved.
Between Sept 2010 and April 2013, 592 clinical sites randomized and treated 7034 patients (41% from Europe, 20% from North America, and 19% from Asia). At baseline, the mean age was 63 ± 9 years, BMI 30.6 ± 5.3 kg/m2, HbA1c 8.1 ± 0.8%, and eGFR 74 ± 21 ml/min/1.73 m2. The study is expected to report in 2015.
EMPA-REG OUTCOME™ will determine the CV safety of empagliflozin in a cohort of patients with type 2 diabetes and high CV risk, with the potential to show cardioprotection.
Trial registration NCT01131676
PMCID: PMC4072621  PMID: 24943000
Blood pressure; Body weight; Empagliflozin; Glycemic control; Macrovascular; Microvascular; SGLT2 inhibitor; Type 2 diabetes
9.  Left atrial area index predicts adverse cardiovascular events in patients with unstable angina pectoris 
The left atrial size has been considered as a useful marker of adverse cardiovascular outcomes. However, it is not well known whether left atrial area index (LAAI) has predictive value for prognosis in patients with unstable angina pectoris (UAP). This study was aimed to assess the association between LAAI and outcomes in UAP patients.
We enrolled a total of 391 in-hospital patients diagnosed as UAP. Clinical and echocardiographic data at baseline were collected. The patients were followed for the development of adverse cardiovascular (CV) events, including hospital readmission for angina pectoris, acute myocardial infarction (AMI), congestive heart failure (CHF), stroke and all-cause mortality.
During a mean follow-up time of 26.3 ± 8.6 months, 98 adverse CV events occurred (84 hospital readmission for angina pectoris, four AMI, four CHF, one stroke and five all-cause mortality). In a multivariate Cox model, LAAI [OR: 1.140, 95% CI: 1.016–1.279, P = 0.026], diastolic blood pressure (OR: 0.976, 95% CI: 0.956–0.996, P = 0.020) and pulse pressure (OR: 1.020, 95% CI: 1.007–1.034, P = 0.004) were independent predictors for adverse CV events in UAP patients.
LAAI is a predictor of adverse CV events independent of clinical and other echocardiographic parameters in UAP patients.
PMCID: PMC5067425  PMID: 27781054
Adverse cardiovascular events; Left atrial area index; Prognostic factor; Unstable angina pectoris
10.  Association between Low Serum Magnesium Level and Major Adverse Cardiac Events in Patients Treated with Drug-Eluting Stents for Acute Myocardial Infarction 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e98971.
We investigated the association of serum magnesium (Mg) levels and major adverse cardiac events (MACEs) after drug-eluting stent (DES) implantation.
Mg depletion plays a key role in the pathphysiologic features of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, thrombosis, arrhythmias and coronary artery disease. Whether the depletion is related to the long-term prognosis of DES implantation is not known.
From 2008 to 2011, we enrolled 414 consecutive patients <50 years old who underwent DES implantation for acute coronary syndrome. Serum Mg level was analyzed and patients were followed up for a median of 24 months (interquartile range 14–32 months) for the occurrence of MACEs defined as death, myocardial infarction, stroke, and any revascularization.
For patients with unstable angina, no significant association between serum Mg level and MACEs was found in the multivariate model. For patients with myocardial infarction, after adjusting for age, positive family history, smoking status, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and diabetes at baseline, the risk was 8.11-fold higher for patients with quartile 1 than 4 Mg level (95% confidence interval 1.7–38.75; P<0.01). In addition, when tested as a continuous variable, serum magnesium was a significant predictor for MACEs of acute myocardial infarction (HR [per 0.1 mM increase], 0.35 [95% CI, 0.19–0.63], p< 0.01), after adjustment for other confounders.
Low serum level of Mg may be an important predictor of MACEs with DES implantation for acute myocardial infarction. Further research into the effectiveness of Mg supplementation for these patients is warranted.
PMCID: PMC4047047  PMID: 24901943
11.  Nocturnal Hypoxemia Due to Obstructive Sleep Apnea Is an Independent Predictor of Poor Prognosis After Myocardial Infarction 
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is an important risk factor for the development of cardiovascular diseases including myocardial infarction (MI). The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of OSA on prognosis after MI, and to determine which specific measures of OSA severity best predicted outcomes.
Methods and Results
We performed a prospective study, in which 112 patients without a prior diagnosis of sleep apnea underwent comprehensive polysomnography within a median of 7 days after MI. Patients were followed up at 6‐monthly intervals (±2 weeks) for a total of 48 months. Patients classified with central apnea (n=6) or those using continuous positive airway pressure (n=8) after polysomnography were excluded from analyses. The primary end point was major adverse cardiac events, including death from any cause, recurrent MI, unstable angina, heart failure, stroke, and significant arrhythmic events. Forty of 98 patients (41%) had OSA (apnea‐hypopnea index ≥15 events/h). OSA patients had higher major adverse cardiac event rates when compared to those without OSA (47.5% versus 24.1%; χ2=5.41, P=0.020). In a multivariate model that adjusted for clinically relevant variables including age, left ventricular ejection fraction, diabetes mellitus, oxygen desaturation index, and arousal index, significant hypoxemia, as defined by nocturnal nadir oxygen saturation ≤85%, was an independent risk factor for major adverse cardiac events (hazard ratio=6.05, P=0.004) in follow‐up 15 months after baseline.
Nocturnal hypoxemia in OSA is an important predictor of poor prognosis for patients after MI. These findings suggest that routine use of low‐cost nocturnal oximetry may be an economical and practical approach to stratify risk in post‐MI patients.
PMCID: PMC5015271  PMID: 27464791
hypoxemia; major adverse cardiac event; myocardial infarction; obstructive sleep apnea; Acute Coronary Syndromes; Risk Factors
12.  Hypoglycemia in Non-diabetics During Development of Acute Coronary Ischemia 
Medical Archives  2015;69(4):226-228.
The occurrence of hyperglycemia in non-diabetics during development of acute coronary ischemia (ACI) indicates latent glucose metabolism disorder, or is a case of newly discovered diabetes mellitus (DM) as a result of stress. Acute coronary syndrome refers to a group of clinical syndromes caused by a sudden circulatory disorder in coronary arteries, resulting in the corresponding myocardial ischemia. It covers range from unstable angina and myocardial infarction (MI) without Q wave in the electrocardiogram finding (NSTEMI) up to myocardial infarction with Q wave in the electrocardiogram finding (STEMI).
To determine the incidence of hyperglycemia in non-diabetics immediately after the occurrence of acute coronary ischemia and assess its risk factors.
The sample included 80 respondents. Men dominated with a total prevalence of 77.5%. The respondent was at mean age of 62.8±13.8 years. During the first measurement, immediately after hospital admission, 50% of respondents had increased blood glucose value and during the second measurement 62%. Hypertension as a risk factor has 54% and 56% smoking. The incidence of stress diabetes after ACI does not depend on the diagnosis of hypertension, χ2=0.050; p=0.823. The differences of mean values (median) BMI between examined persons with/without stress DM are not statistically significant p=0.402. Independent t-test showed that there was no statistically significant difference in the average values of HDL and LDL in patients with stress diabetes than in patients without diabetes stress after ACI p>0.05. For each year of age odds ratio for “stress diabetes” increases by 7% and 95% CI is 2% -12%.
The incidence of stress diabetes ACI is not dependent on the working diagnosis (MI or angina pectoris). As risk factors we set hypertension and current smoking. There were no statistically significant associations between active smoking and hypertension as a risk factor in relation to occurrence of stress diabetes.
PMCID: PMC4610607  PMID: 26543306
acute coronary ischemia; non-diabetics; hyperglycemia
13.  The Association between Sulfonylurea Use and All-Cause and Cardiovascular Mortality: A Meta-Analysis with Trial Sequential Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials 
PLoS Medicine  2016;13(4):e1001992.
Sulfonylureas are an effective and inexpensive treatment for type 2 diabetes. There is conflicting data about the safety of these drugs regarding mortality and cardiovascular outcomes. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the safety of the sulfonylureas most frequently used and to use trial sequential analysis (TSA) to analyze whether the available sample was powered enough to support the results.
Methods and Findings
Electronic databases were reviewed from 1946 (Embase) or 1966 (MEDLINE) up to 31 December 2014. Randomized clinical trials (RCTs) of at least 52 wk in duration evaluating second- or third-generation sulfonylureas in the treatment of adults with type 2 diabetes and reporting outcomes of interest were included. Primary outcomes were all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. Additionally, myocardial infarction and stroke events were evaluated. Data were summarized with Peto odds ratios (ORs), and the reliability of the results was evaluated with TSA. Forty-seven RCTs with 37,650 patients and 890 deaths in total were included. Sulfonylureas were not associated with all-cause (OR 1.12 [95% CI 0.96 to 1.30]) or cardiovascular mortality (OR 1.12 [95% CI 0.87 to 1.42]). Sulfonylureas were also not associated with increased risk of myocardial infarction (OR 0.92 [95% CI 0.76 to 1.12]) or stroke (OR 1.16 [95% CI 0.81 to 1.66]). TSA could discard an absolute difference of 0.5% between the treatments, which was considered the minimal clinically significant difference. The major limitation of this review was the inclusion of studies not designed to evaluate safety outcomes.
Sulfonylureas are not associated with increased risk for all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality, myocardial infarction, or stroke. Current evidence supports the safety of sulfonylureas; an absolute risk of 0.5% could be firmly discarded.
Review registration
PROSPERO CRD42014004330
In a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials, Dimitris Rados and colleagues find that sulfonylurea use is not associated with an increased risk of all-cause or cardiovascular mortality.
Editors' Summary
Worldwide, more than 400,000 people have diabetes, a chronic condition characterized by poor glycemic control—dangerously high levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood (hyperglycemia). Blood sugar levels are usually controlled by insulin, a hormone released by beta cells in the pancreas after meals (glucose levels in the blood increase when food is digested and glucose is absorbed). In people with type 2 diabetes (the most common type of diabetes), blood sugar control fails because the fat and muscle cells that normally respond to insulin by removing excess sugar from the blood become resistant to insulin. Type 2 diabetes can often be controlled initially with diet and exercise and with antidiabetic drugs such as metformin (which suppresses glucose production by the liver) and sulfonylureas (which stimulate the secretion of insulin by the pancreas). However, as the disease progresses, the pancreatic beta cells become impaired, and many patients eventually need insulin injections to prevent hyperglycemia. Long-term complications of diabetes, which include an increased risk of cardiovascular problems such as heart attacks (myocardial infarctions) and stroke, reduce the life expectancy of people with diabetes by about ten years compared to people without diabetes.
Why Was This Study Done?
Sulfonylureas have been used for decades to improve glycemic control in people with diabetes, but doubts about their safety were first raised in 1970. Since then, there have been conflicting reports about whether these inexpensive but effective drugs are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular events and death. Because at least 20%–30% of people with diabetes in high-income countries take second- or third-generation sulfonylureas, such as glipizide and glimepiride, it is important to know whether sulfonylurea use increases the risk of a cardiovascular event or death by even a small amount. Here, the researchers evaluate the safety of the most widely used sulfonylureas by undertaking a systematic review and meta-analysis, with trial sequential analysis, of randomized clinical trials (RCTs) that evaluated second- or third-generation sulfonylureas for the treatment of adults with type 2 diabetes. A systematic review uses predefined criteria to identify all the research on a given topic, a meta-analysis combines the results of several trials, and trial sequential analysis is used to establish whether the sample size of a meta-analysis is sufficiently large to reach firm conclusions about the effect of interventions.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers identified 47 RCTs that met their criteria for inclusion in their study. In total, these RCTs involved 37,650 patients, 890 of whom died during follow-up. Meta-analysis of the results of these trials indicated that sulfonylurea use was not associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality (death) or cardiovascular mortality. Moreover, sulfonylurea use was not associated with an increased risk of myocardial infarction or stroke. Trial sequential analysis indicated that the sample size in the meta-analysis was large enough that sufficient information was included in the analysis to conclude that fewer than one in 200 patients were likely to have been harmed by the use of sulfonylureas. That is, trial sequential analysis excluded the possibility that—compared to placebo (dummy drug), diet, or an active comparator drug—sulfonylurea use was associated with more than one death (or major cardiovascular event) in every 200 treated patients, which the researchers defined as the minimal clinically significant difference. Importantly, this finding did not change when sulfonylureas were used as an add-on to metformin treatment.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that sulfonylureas are not associated with a clinically significant increased risk for all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality, myocardial infarction, or stroke. The accuracy of these findings may be affected by some aspects of the researchers’ analyses, such as the inclusion of studies in their meta-analysis that were not designed to evaluate safety outcomes. Moreover, because this study was not designed to compare different sulfonylureas, further studies are needed to evaluate whether all second- and third-generation sulfonylureas are associated with similar all-cause and cardiovascular mortality risks. Overall, however, these findings are reassuring, and the researchers conclude that sulfonylureas should continue to be used in patients with type 2 diabetes provided their efficacy in controlling hyperglycemia outweighs the risks of weight gain and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) that are known to be associated with these drugs.
Additional Information
This list of resources contains links that can be accessed when viewing the PDF on a device or via the online version of the article at
The US National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases provides information about diabetes for patients, health-care professionals, and the general public, including information on treatments for diabetes (in English and Spanish)
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information for patients and carers about type 2 diabetes, about treatments for type 2 diabetes, and about living with diabetes; it also provides people’s stories about diabetes
The charity Diabetes UK provides detailed information for patients and carers in several languages, including information on treatments for diabetes
The UK-based non-profit organization Healthtalkonline has interviews with people about their experiences of diabetes
MedlinePlus provides links to further resources and advice about diabetes and about medicines for diabetes; it also provides information about metformin and about glipizide, glimepiride, and other sulfonylurea drugs (in English and Spanish)
More information about this study is available from the PROSPERO International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews; information about trial sequential analysis is also available
PMCID: PMC4829174  PMID: 27071029
14.  Effect of Bromocriptine-QR (a Quick-Release Formulation of Bromocriptine Mesylate) on Major Adverse Cardiovascular Events in Type 2 Diabetes Subjects 
Bromocriptine-QR (a quick-release formulation of bromocriptine mesylate), a dopamine D2 receptor agonist, is a US Food and Drug Administrration–approved treatment for type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). A 3070-subject randomized trial demonstrated a significant, 40% reduction in relative risk among bromocriptine-QR-treated subjects in a prespecified composite cardiovascular (CV) end point that included ischemic-related (myocardial infarction and stroke) and nonischemic-related (hospitalization for unstable angina, congestive heart failure [CHF], or revascularization surgery) end points, but did not include cardiovascular death as a component of this composite. The present investigation was undertaken to more critically evaluate the impact of bromocriptine-QR on cardiovascular outcomes in this study subject population by (1) including CV death in the above-described original composite analysis and then stratifying this new analysis on the basis of multiple demographic subgroups and (2) analyzing the influence of this intervention on only the “hard” CV end points of myocardial infarction, stroke, and CV death (major adverse cardiovascular events [MACEs]).
Methods and Results
Three thousand seventy T2DM subjects on stable doses of ≤2 antidiabetes medications (including insulin) with HbA1c ≤10.0 (average baseline HbA1c=7.0) were randomized 2:1 to bromocriptine-QR (1.6 to 4.8 mg/day) or placebo for a 52-week treatment period. Subjects with heart failure (New York Heart Classes I and II) and precedent myocardial infarction or revascularization surgery were allowed to participate in the trial. Study outcomes included time to first event for each of the 2 CV composite end points described above. The relative risk comparing bromocriptine-QR with the control for the cardiovascular outcomes was estimated as a hazard ratio with 95% confidence interval on the basis of Cox proportional hazards regression. The statistical significance of any between-group difference in the cumulative percentage of CV events over time (derived from a Kaplan–Meier curve) was determined by a log-rank test on the intention-to-treat population. Study subjects were in reasonable metabolic control, with an average baseline HbA1c of 7.0±1.1, blood pressure of 128/76±14/9, and total and LDL cholesterol of 179±42 and 98±32, respectively, with 88%, 77%, and 69% of subjects being treated with antidiabetic, antihypertensive, and antihyperlipidemic agents, respectively. Ninety-one percent of the expected person-year outcome ascertainment was obtained in this study. Respecting the CV-inclusive composite cardiovascular end point, there were 39 events (1.9%) among 2054 bromocriptine-QR-treated subjects versus 33 events (3.2%) among 1016 placebo subjects, yielding a significant, 39% reduction in relative risk in this end point with bromocriptine-QR exposure (P=0.0346; log-rank test) that was not influenced by age, sex, race, body mass index, duration of diabetes, or preexisting cardiovascular disease. In addition, regarding the MACE end point, there were 14 events (0.7%) among 2054 bromocriptine-QR-treated subjects and 15 events (1.5%) among 1016 placebo-treated subjects, yielding a significant, 52% reduction in relative risk in this end point with bromocriptine-QR exposure (P<0.05; log-rank test).
These findings reaffirm and extend the original observation of relative risk reduction in cardiovascular adverse events among type 2 diabetes subjects treated with bromocriptine-QR and suggest that further investigation into this impact of bromocriptine-QR is warranted.
Clinical Trial Registration
URL: Unique Identifier: NCT00377676
PMCID: PMC3541616  PMID: 23316290
bromocriptine; circadian rhythm; Cycloset; diabetes mellitus type 2; infarction
15.  Impact of post-challenge hyperglycemia on clinical outcomes in japanese patients with stable angina undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention 
Post-challenge hyperglycemia (PH) is well-established as one of risk factors for coronary artery disease. However, it remains unclear whether PH affects clinical outcomes in patients with stable angina undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI).
A total of 828 patients with stable angina undergoing PCI were retrospectively analyzed. Of these, 452 patients with previously diagnosed diabetes mellitus (DM) or fasting plasma glucose (PG) ≥126 mg/dl and HbA1c ≥6.5% were defined as known DM. The remaining 376 patients were divided into the two groups according to 2-h PG: PH (2-h PG ≥140 mg/dl, n=236) and normal glucose tolerance (NGT, 2-h PG <140 mg/dl, n=140). We assessed the rate of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE), defined as a composite of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, stroke, and clinically-driven revascularization.
During the median follow-up of 4.3 years, the MACE rate was significantly higher in the DM and PH groups than the NGT group (39.3% vs. 20.7%, P <0.001; 31.4% vs. 20.7%, P=0.044, respectively). Compared with the NGT group, the cumulative incidence of revascularization was significantly higher in the DM group (35.1% vs. 18.5%, P <0.001) and tended to be higher in the PH group (27.1% vs. 18.5%, P=0.067). In the multivariate analysis, known DM (Hazard ratio [HR]: 2.16, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.49-3.27, P < 0.001), PH (HR: 1.62, 95% CI: 1.07-2.53, P = 0.023), LDL-C >100 mg/dl (HR: 1.62, 95% CI: 1.26 to 2.10, P < 0.001), and previous stroke (HR: 1.47, 95% CI: 1.03-2.04, P = 0.034) were predictors of MACE.
PH is associated with future cardiovascular events in patients with stable angina undergoing PCI.
PMCID: PMC3651729  PMID: 23651930
Coronary artery disease; Diabetes mellitus; Percutaneous coronary intervention; Post-challenge hyperglycemia; Stable angina
16.  Efficacy of long-term anticoagulant treatment in subgroups of patients after myocardial infarction. 
British Heart Journal  1995;74(2):117-121.
OBJECTIVE--To investigate the efficacy of long term oral anticoagulant treatment in subgroups of patients after myocardial infarction. DESIGN--Analysis of the effect of anticoagulant treatment in subgroups of hospital survivors of myocardial infarction based upon age, gender, history of hypertension, previous myocardial infarction, smoking habits, diabetes mellitus, Killip class, anterior location of infarction, thrombolytic therapy, and use of beta blockers. SUBJECTS--Participants of a multicentre, randomised, double blind, placebo controlled trial that assessed the effect of oral anticoagulant treatment on mortality as well as cerebrovascular and cardiovascular morbidity in 3404 hospital survivors of acute myocardial infarction. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--The effect of anticoagulant treatment on recurrent myocardial infarction, cerebrovascular events, and vascular events (the composite endpoint of reinfarction, cerebrovascular event, and vascular death). RESULTS--Long term anticoagulant treatment was associated with a reduction in mortality of 10% (95% confidence interval -11% to 27%), recurrent myocardial infarction of 53% (41% to 62%), cerebrovascular events of 40% (10% to 60%) and vascular events of 35% (24% to 45%). Treatment effect with respect to recurrent myocardial infarction was comparable among all subgroups of patients. Although treatment effect appeared to be somewhat smaller in females than in males (-11% v -45%), and in patients with diabetes compared to those without (-14% v -42%) with respect to vascular events, none of these differences reached statistical significance. In multivariate analysis, more advanced age, previous myocardial infarction, diabetes mellitus, and heart failure during admission were independently associated with increased incidence of cardiovascular complications. CONCLUSIONS--The relative benefit of long term anticoagulant therapy in survivors of myocardial infarction is not modified by known prognostic factors for cardiovascular disease.
PMCID: PMC483984  PMID: 7546987
17.  Cardiovascular Benefits and Diabetes Risks of Statin Therapy in Primary Prevention 
Lancet  2012;380(9841):565-571.
As statin therapy increases risks of diabetes, the balance of benefit and risk in primary prevention for these agents has become controversial. We undertook an analysis of participants from the JUPITER trial to address the balance of vascular benefits and diabetes hazard of statin use.
In the randomized, double-blind JUPITER trial, 17,603 men and women without prior cardiovascular disease or diabetes were randomly allocated to rosuvastatin 20 mg or placebo and followed for up to 5 years for the trial primary endpoint (myocardial infarction, stroke, hospitalization for unstable angina, arterial revascularization, or cardiovascular death) and the protocol pre-specified secondary endpoints of venous thromboembolism (VTE), all-cause mortality, and incident diabetes. To address balance of vascular benefits and diabetes hazard, participants were stratified on the basis of having none or at least one of the following major risk factors for developing diabetes: metabolic syndrome, impaired fasting glucose, body mass index >30 kg/m2, or HbA1c > 6 percent.
Trial participants with one or more major diabetes risk factor (N=11,508) were at higher risk of developing diabetes; for such individuals, statin allocation was associated with a 39 percent reduction in the primary endpoint (P=0.0001), a 36 percent reduction in VTE (P=0.08), a 17 percent reduction in total mortality (P=0.15) and a 28 percent increase in diabetes (P=0.01). Thus, for those with diabetes risk factors, 93 vascular events or deaths were avoided for every 54 new cases of diabetes diagnosed. For trial participants with no major diabetes risk factor (N=6,095), statin allocation was associated with a 52 percent reduction in the primary endpoint (P=0.0001), a 53 percent reduction in VTE (P=0.05), a 22 percent reduction in total mortality (P=0.08) and no increase in diabetes (HR 0.99, P= 0.99). For such individuals, a total of 86 vascular events or deaths were avoided with no new cases of diabetes diagnosed. In analysis limited to the 486 participants who developed diabetes during follow-up (270 on rosuvastatin vs. 216 on placebo group, P=0.01), the point estimate of cardiovascular risk reduction associated with statin therapy (hazard ratio 0.63) was consistent with that observed for the trial as a whole (hazard ratio 0.56). As compared to placebo, statin allocation accelerated the average time to diagnosis of diabetes by 5.4 weeks.
In the JUPITER primary prevention trial, the cardiovascular and mortality benefits of statin therapy exceed the diabetes hazard, including among those at higher risk for developing diabetes
PMCID: PMC3774022  PMID: 22883507
18.  Survival of the fattest: unexpected findings about hyperglycaemia and obesity in a population based study of 75-year-olds 
BMJ Open  2011;1(1):e000012.
To study the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and mortality among 75-year-olds with and without diabetes mellitus type 2 (DM) or impaired fasting glucose (IFG).
Prospective population-based cohort study with a 10-year follow-up.
A random sample of 618 of the 1100 inhabitants born in 1922 and living in the city of Västerås in 1997 were invited to participate in a cardiovascular health survey; 70% of those invited agreed to participate (432 individuals: 210 men, 222 women).
Outcome measures
All-cause and cardiovascular mortality.
163 of 432 (38%) participants died during the 10-year follow-up period. The prevalence of DM or IFG was 41% (35% among survivors, 48% among non-survivors). The prevalence of obesity/overweight/normal weight/underweight according to WHO definitions was 12/45/42/1% (14/43/42/1% among survivors, 9/47/42/2% among non-survivors). The hazard rate for death decreased by 10% for every kg/m2 increase in BMI in individuals with DM/IFG (HR 0.91, 95% CI 0.86 to 0.97; p=0.003). After adjustment for sex, current smoking, diagnosed hypertension, diagnosed angina pectoris, previous myocardial infarction and previous stroke/transient ischaemic attack, the corresponding decrease in mortality was 9% (HR 0.92, 95% CI 0.86 to 0.99; p=0.017). These findings remained after exclusion of individuals with BMI<20 or those who died within 2-year follow-up. In individuals without DM/IFG, BMI had no effect on mortality (HR 1.01, 95% CI 0.95 to 1.07; p=0.811). The HR for BMI differed significantly between individuals with and without DM/IFG (p interaction=0.025). The increased all-cause mortality in individuals with DM/IFG in combination with lower BMI was driven by cardiovascular death.
High all-cause and cardiovascular mortality was associated with lower BMI in 75-year-olds with DM/IFG but not in those without DM/IFG. Further studies on the combined effect of obesity/overweight and DM/IFG are needed in order to assess the appropriateness of current guideline recommendations for weight reduction in older people with DM/IFG.
Article summary
Article focus
To explore the combined effect of hyperglycaemia and body mass index (BMI) on all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in the elderly.
Key messages
There was a significant inverse relationship in 75-year-olds with type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) or impaired fasting glucose (IFG) between BMI and rate of all-cause and cardiovascular mortality.
An obesity paradox or reverse epidemiology was found in 75-year-olds with DM or IFG.
Further studies on the combined effect of obesity/overweight and DM/IFG are needed in order to assess current guidelines for weight reduction in older people with DM/IFG.
Strengths and limitations of this study
Restricting our investigation to one age group enabled us to omit age as a confounding factor, allowing meaningful estimation of the relationship between all-cause and cardiovascular mortality and BMI in individuals with and without hyperglycaemia, despite the relatively small number of study participants. Furthermore, because of the high participation rate, the participants are more representative of the population in a defined geographical area than described in most other studies on this topic. These advantages are, however, offset by difficulty in generalising our findings to those in other age groups and from other geographical areas. Nevertheless, it seems likely that our results are applicable to Northern Europeans and white North Americans in their seventies.
A further limitation of the study is the fact that mortality among invited individuals who did not participate in the study (30%) was considerably higher than among those who participated (70%), mainly reflecting a higher prevalence of diseases under treatment among non-participants.
PMCID: PMC3191391  PMID: 22021724
BMI; cardiovascular diseases; elderly; fasting glucose; mortality; obesity paradox; epidemiology; Computers; meta-analysis; statistics; BMJ open
19.  Incremental Prognostic Significance of the Elevated Levels of Pentraxin 3 in Patients With Heart Failure With Normal Left Ventricular Ejection Fraction 
Pentraxin 3 (PTX3) is a novel inflammatory marker produced by various cell types including those of the vasculature and the heart. The relationship between inflammatory markers and prognosis of patients with heart failure with normal ejection fraction (HFNEF) remains unknown. We investigated whether plasma PTX3 levels can predict future cardiovascular events in patients with HFNEF.
Methods and Results
Plasma PTX3, high‐sensitivity C‐reactive protein, and B‐type natriuretic peptide levels were measured prospectively in 360 stable patients with HFNEF. The subsequent incidence of cardiovascular events, including cardiovascular death, nonfatal myocardial infarction (MI), unstable angina pectoris, nonfatal ischemic stroke, hospitalization for heart failure decompensation, and coronary revascularization, was determined. During a mean 30‐month follow‐up, 106 patients experienced cardiovascular events. These events were more frequent in patients with high plasma PTX3 levels (>3.0 ng/mL) than low levels (≤3.0 ng/mL). Multivariable Cox hazard analysis showed that PTX3 (hazard ratio: 1.16; 95% CI: 1.05 to 1.27; P<0.01) and B‐type natriuretic peptide (hazard ratio: 1.08; 95% CI: 1.03 to 1.14; P<0.001), but not high‐sensitivity C‐reactive protein levels, were significant predictors of future cardiovascular events. Multivariable Cox analysis with the forced inclusion model, including 5 previously identified prognostic factors, found that PTX3 was a significant predictor of cardiovascular events (hazard ratio: 1.16; 95% CI: 1.06 to 1.27; P<0.01). The C‐statistics for cardiovascular events substantially increased from 0.617 to 0.683 when PTX3 was added to the 5 previously identified prognostic factors.
High plasma PTX3 levels, but not other inflammatory markers, are correlated with future cardiovascular events in patients with HFNEF. PTX3 may be a useful biomarker for assessment of risk stratification in HFNEF.
Clinical Trial Registration
URL:; Unique identifier: UMIN000002170.
PMCID: PMC4310378  PMID: 25012287
cardiovascular events; heart failure with normal ejection fraction; inflammation; left ventricular diastolic dysfunction; pentraxin 3
20.  Antioxidative vitamines for prevention of cardiovascular disease for patients after renal transplantation and patients with chronic renal failure  
The mortality from cardiovascular disease in patients with chronic renal failure is much higher than in the general population. In particular, patients with chronic renal failure with replacement therapies (dialysis patients and patients with renal transplantation) show both increased traditional risk factors and risk factors due to the dysfunction of the renal system. In combination with necessary medication for renal insufficiency oxidative stress is elevated. Progression of atherosclerosis is promoted due to increased oxidation of lipids and endothelium damage. This link between lipid oxidation and artherogenesis provides the rationale for the supposed beneficial effect of supplementation with antioxidative vitamins (vitamin A, C and E). Such an effect could not be demonstrated for patients with a history of cardiovascular disease and without kidney diseases. However, in high risk patients with chronic renal failure and renal replacement therapies this could be different.
The objective of this systematic literature review was to assess the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of supplementation with antioxidative vitamins A, C or E to reduce cardiovascular events in patients with chronic kidney diseases, dialysis-requiring patients and patients after a renal transplantation with or without cardiovascular diseases.
A systematic literature review was conducted with documented search and selection of the literature, using a priori defined inclusion and exclusion criteria as well as a documented extraction and assessment of the literature according to the methods of evidence-based medicine.
21 publications met the inclusion criteria for the evaluation of clinical effectiveness. No study could be identified for the economic evaluation. Two studies (four publications) analysed the effect of oral supplementation on the secondary prevention of clinical cardiovascular endpoints. Studies analysing the effect on patients without a history of cardiovascular disease could not be identified. 17 studies analysed the effect of oral supplementation or infusion with antioxidative vitamins or the supplementation with dialysis membranes coated with vitamin E on intermediate outcomes like oxidative stress or vessel parameters.
The two randomized clinical trials analysing the effect of orally supplemented vitamin E on clinical endpoints in patients with mild-to-moderate renal insufficiency and for haemodialysis patients respectively reported different results. After 4.5 years supplementation with a daily dose of 400 IU vitamin E renal insufficiency patients showed neither a beneficial nor a harmful effect on a combined event rate of myocardial infarction, stroke or death by cardiovascular causes. The second study reported a 50% risk reduction (RR=0.46, 95%-KI: 0.27-0.78, p=0.014) on the combined event rate of fatal myocardial infarction, nonfatal myocardial infarction, stroke, peripheral vascular disease or unstable angina pectoris in the study arm with vitamin E-Supplementation of 800 IU daily.
In 16 of 17 studies with intermediate endpoints the supplementation with vitamins was associated with a change of one or several of the examined endpoints in the expected direction. This means that the concentrations of the markers for oxidative stress decreased in the Vitamin E-group, the progression of aortic calcification (only one study) was reduced, the intima media thickness decreased and the lipid profile improved. No studies regarding costs or cost-effectiveness were identified.
A possible explanation for the different results in the two studies with clinical endpoints may be due to the different study populations with different risk profiles, to different dosage during the intervention or to variation by chance. Due to the absence of clinically meaningful endpoints, the relevance of studies analysing the effect of antioxidative vitamins on intermediate endpoints like oxidative stress markers is basically limited to show single intermediate steps of the postulated biological effect mechanisms by which a potentially preventive effect could possibly be mediated. The mainly unsatisfactory planning and reporting quality of the 17 identified studies and a possible "publication bias" are further limitations.
The available evidence is not sufficient to support or to reject an effect of antioxidative vitamins on secondary prevention for cardiovascular disease for patients with chronic renal insufficiency or renal replacement therapy. There is a lack of randomized, placebo-controlled studies with a sufficient number of cases and clinical endpoints of cardiovascular disease, on the effect of antioxidative vitamins either orally applied or given by vitamin E-modified dialysers.
No data are available about supplementation with antioxidative vitamins for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Therefore the current evidence does not allow to draw conclusions concerning this subject either. As opposed to patients with a history of cardiovascular disease without kidney diseases where there is enough evidence to exclude a beneficial effect on secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease for patients with chronic renal insufficiency and renal replacement therapy this question remains unanswered. Conclusions about costs and cost-effectiveness also cannot be drawn.
PMCID: PMC3011345  PMID: 21289965
21.  Enhanced External Counterpulsation (EECP) 
Executive Summary
To assess the effectiveness, and cost effectiveness of EECP in patients with severe anginal symptoms, secondary to chronic coronary disease, who are unresponsive to exhaustive pharmacotherapy and not candidates for surgical/percutaneous revascularization procedures (e.g., angioplasty, coronary bypass surgery).
To assess the effectiveness, and cost effectiveness of EECP in patients with heart failure.
Clinical Need
Angina is a clinical syndrome characterized by discomfort in the chest, jaw, shoulder, back or arm. Angina usually occurs in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) involving ≥1 large epicardial artery. However it can also occur in people with valvular heart disease, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and uncontrolled hypertension.
Conventional approaches to restoring the balance between oxygen supply and demand focus on the disruption of the underlying disease through: drug therapy (β blockers, calcium channel blockers, nitrates, antiplatelet agents, ACE inhibitors, statins); life-style modifications (smoking cessation, weight loss); or revascularization techniques such as coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) or percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI). (1) Limitations of each of these approaches include: adverse drug effects, procedure-related mortality and morbidity, restenosis after PCI, and time dependent graft attrition after CABG. Furthermore, an increasing number of patients are not appropriate candidates for standard revascularization options, due to co-morbid conditions (HF, peripheral vascular disease), poor distal coronary artery targets, and patient preference. The morbidity and mortality associated with repeat surgical revascularization procedures are significantly higher, and often excludes these patients from consideration for further revascularizations. (2)
Patients with CAD who have chronic ischemic symptoms that are unresponsive to both conventional medical therapy and revascularization techniques have refractory angina pectoris. It has been estimated that greater than 100,000 patients each year in the US may be diagnosed as having this condition. (3) Patients with refractory angina have marked limitation of ordinary physical activity or are unable to perform any ordinary physical activity without discomfort (CCS functional class III/IV). Also, there must be some objective evidence of ischemia as demonstrated by exercise treadmill testing, stress imaging studies or coronary physiologic studies. (1)
Dejongste et al. (4)estimated that the prevalence of chronic refractory angina is about 100,000 patients in the United States. This would correspond to approximately 3,800 (100,000 x 3.8% [Ontario is approximately 3.8% of the population of the United States]) patients in Ontario having chronic refractory angina.
Heart Failure
Heart failure results from any structural or functional cardiac disorder that impairs the ability of the heart to act as a pump.
A recent study (5) revealed 28,702 patients were hospitalized for first-time HF in Ontario between April 1994 and March 1997. Women comprised 51% of the cohort. Eighty-five percent were aged 65 years or older, and 58% were aged 75 years or older.
Patients with chronic HF experience shortness of breath, a limited capacity for exercise, high rates of hospitalization and rehospitalization, and die prematurely. (6) The New York Heart Association (NYHA) has provided a commonly used functional classification for the severity of HF (7):
Class I: No limitation of physical activity. No symptoms with ordinary exertion.
Class II: Slight limitations of physical activity. Ordinary activity causes symptoms.
Class III: Marked limitation of physical activity. Less than ordinary activity causes symptoms. Asymptomatic at rest.
Class IV: Inability to carry out any physical activity without discomfort. Symptoms at rest.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (7) estimates that 35% of patients with HF are in functional NYHA class I; 35% are in class II; 25%, class III; and 5%, class IV. Surveys (8) suggest that from 5% to 15% of patients with HF have persistent severe symptoms, and that the remainder of patients with HF is evenly divided between those with mild and moderately severe symptoms.
To date, the diagnosis and management of chronic HF has concentrated on patients with the clinical syndrome of HF accompanied by severe left ventricular systolic dysfunction. Major changes in treatment have resulted from a better understanding of the pathophysiology of HF and the results of large clinical trials. Treatment for chronic HF includes lifestyle management, drugs, cardiac surgery, or implantable pacemakers and defibrillators. Despite pharmacologic advances, which include diuretics, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, beta-blockers, spironolactone, and digoxin, many patients remain symptomatic on maximally tolerated doses. (6)
The Technology
Patients are typically treated by a trained technician in a medically supervised environment for 1 hour daily for a total of 35 hours over 7 weeks. The procedure involves sequential inflation and deflation of compressible cuffs wrapped around the patient’s calves, lower thighs and upper thighs. In addition to 3 sets of cuffs, the patient has finger plethysmogram and electrocardiogram (ECG) attachments that are connected to a control and display console.
External counterpulsation was used in the United States to treat cardiogenic shock after acute myocardial infarction. (9;10) More recently, an enhanced version namely “enhanced external counterpulsation” (EECP) was introduced as a noninvasive procedure for outpatient treatment of patients with severe, uncontrollable cardiac ischemia. EECP is said to increase coronary perfusion pressure and reduce the myocardial oxygen demand. Currently, EECP is not applicable for all patients with refractory angina pectoris. For example, many patients are considered ineligible for therapy due to co-morbidities, including those with severe pulmonary vascular disease, deep vein thrombosis, phlebitis and irregular heart rhythms, and heart failure. (1)
Very recently, investigation began into EECP as an adjunctive treatment for patients with HF. Anecdotal reports suggested that EECP may benefit patients with coronary disease and left ventricular dysfunction. The safety and effectiveness of EECP in patients with symptomatic heart failure and coronary disease and its role in patients with nonischemic heart failure secondary to LV dysfunction is unclear. Furthermore, the safety and effectiveness of EECP in the different stages of HF and whether it is only for patients who are refractive to pharmacotherapy is unknown.
2003 Health Technology Assessment by the Medical Advisory Secretariat
The Medical Advisory Secretariat health technology assessment (originally published in February 2003) reported on the effectiveness of EECP for patients with angina and HF. The report concluded that there was insufficient evidence to support the use of EECP in patients with refractory stable CCS III/IV angina as well as insufficient evidence to support the use of EECP in patients with HF.
Review Strategy
The aim of this literature review was to assess the effectiveness, safety, and cost effectiveness of EECP for the treatment of refractory stable CCS III/IV angina or HF.
The standard search strategy used by the Medical Advisory Secretariat was used. This included a search of all international health technology assessments as well as a search of the medical literature from December 2002 to March 2006.
A modification of the GRADE approach (11) was used to make judgments about the quality of evidence and strength of recommendations systematically and explicitly. GRADE provides a framework for structured reflection and can help to ensure that appropriate judgments are made. GRADE takes into account a study’s design, quality, consistency, and directness in judging the quality of evidence for each outcome. The balance between benefits and harms, quality of evidence, applicability, and the certainty of the baseline risks are considered in judgments about the strength of recommendations.
Summary of Findings
The Cochrane and INAHTA databases yielded 3 HTAs or systematic reviews on EECP treatment (Blue Cross Blue Shield Technology Evaluation Center [BCBS TEC], ECRI, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services [CMS]). A search of Medline and Embase December 2005 – March 2006 (after the literature search cutoff from the most recent HTA) was conducted using key words enhanced external counterpulsation, EECP, angina, myocardial ischemia, congestive heart failure. This search produced 1 study which met the inclusion criteria. This level 4a study was inferior in quality to the RCT which formed the basis of the 2003 Medical Advisory Secretariat recommendation.
BCBS reviewed the evidence through November 2005 to determine if EECP improves health outcomes for refractory chronic stable angina pectoris or chronic stable HF. (12) BCBS concluded that the available evidence is not sufficient to permit conclusions of the effect of EECP on health outcomes. Both controlled trials had methodologic flaws (MUST EECP and MUST EECP quality of life studies). The case series and observational studies for both indications while suggestive of a treatment benefit from EECP have shortcomings as well.
On March 20 2006, CMS posted their proposed coverage decision memorandum for external counterpulsation therapy. (13) Overall, CMS stated that the evidence is not adequate to conclude that external counterpulsation therapy is reasonable and necessary for:
Canadian Cardiovascular Society Classification (CCSC) II angina
Heart failure
NYHA class II/III stable HF symptoms with an EF≤35%
NYHA class II/III stable HF symptoms with an EF≤40%
NYHA class IV HF
Acute HF
Cardiogenic shock
Acute MI
In January 2005, ECRI (14) stated that there was insufficient evidence available to draw conclusions about the long-term effectiveness of EECP, with respect to morbidity, survival, or quality of life, for any coronary indication (refractory angina, congestive heart failure, cardiogenic shock and acute MI).
GRADE Quality of the Studies
According to the GRADE Working Group criteria, the quality of the trials was examined (Table 1). (11)
Quality refers to the criteria such as the adequacy of allocation concealment, blinding and followup.
Consistency refers to the similarity of estimates of effect across studies. If there is important unexplained inconsistency in the results, our confidence in the estimate of effect for that outcome decreases. Differences in the direction of effect, the size of the differences in effect and the significance of the differences guide the decision about whether important inconsistency exists.
Directness refers to the extent to which the people interventions and outcome measures are similar to those of interest. For example, there may be uncertainty about the directness of the evidence if the people of interest are older, sicker or have more comorbidity than those in the studies.
As stated by the GRADE Working Group, the following definitions were used in grading the quality of the evidence. (11)
GRADE Quality of Studies
Economic Analysis - Literature Review
No economic analysis of EECP was identified in the published literature.
Estimated Prevalence of Angina in Ontario
3,800 patients with chronic refractory angina:
The number of patients with chronic refractory angina in the US is estimated to be approximately 100,000 (4), this corresponds to about 3,800 patients in Ontario (3.8% × 100,000) with refractory angina.
3,800 patients × $7,000 Cdn (approximate cost for a full course of therapy) ~ $26.6M Cdn.
Estimated Prevalence of Heart Failure in Ontario
23,700 patients EF ≤ 0.35:
This estimate is from an expert (personal communication) at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES), where they examined a sample of echocardiography studies drawn from a diagnostic lab in 2001. They found that the prevalence of EF ≤ 0.35 was 8.3%, and if generalized to all patients undergoing echocardiography, there would be 23,700 patients.
23,700 patients with EF ≤35% × $7,000 Cdn ~ $166 M Cdn.
There is insufficient evidence to support the effectiveness and safety of EECP treatment for patients with refractory stable CCS III-IV angina or HF.
As per the GRADE Working Group, overall recommendations consider 4 main factors. (11)
The tradeoffs, taking into account the estimated size of the effect for the main outcome, the confidence limits around those estimates and the relative value placed on the outcome.
The quality of the evidence.
Translation of the evidence into practice in a specific setting, taking into consideration important factors that could be expected to modify the size of the expected effects such as proximity to a hospital or availability of necessary expertise.
Uncertainty about the baseline risk for the population of interest.
The GRADE Working Group also recommends that incremental costs of healthcare alternatives should be considered explicitly alongside the expected health benefits and harms. (11) Recommendations rely on judgments about the value of the incremental health benefits in relation to the incremental costs. The last column in Table 2 is the overall trade-off between benefits and harms and incorporates any risk/uncertainty.
For angina and heart failure, the overall GRADE and strength of the recommendations is “weak” – the quality of the evidence is “low” (uncertainties due to methodological limitations in the study design in terms of study quality and directness), and the corresponding risk/uncertainty is increased due to a budget impact of approximately $26.6 M Cdn or $166 M Cdn respectively while the cost-effectiveness of EECP is unknown and difficult to estimate considering that there are no high quality studies of effectiveness.
Overall GRADE and Strength of Recommendation (Including Uncertainty)
PMCID: PMC3379533  PMID: 23074496
22.  'Correction:' Serum transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGF-beta-1) levels in diabetic patients are not associated with pre-existent coronary artery disease 
The association between TGF-β1 levels and long-term major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) is controversial. No study specifically addressed patients with CAD and diabetes mellitus (DM). The association between TGF-β1 levels and long-term major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD) is controversial. No study specifically addressed patients with CAD and diabetes mellitus (DM).
Patients (n = 135, 30–80 years) referred for coronary angiography were submitted to clinical and laboratory evaluation, and the coronary angiograms were evaluated by two operators blinded to clinical characteristics. CAD was defined as the presence of a 70% stenosis in one major coronary artery, and DM was characterized as a fasting glycemia > 126 mg/dl or known diabetics (personal history of diabetes or previous use of anti-hyperglycemic drugs or insulin). Based on these criteria, study patients were classified into four groups: no DM and no CAD (controls, C n = 61), DM without CAD (D n = 23), CAD without DM (C-CAD n = 28), and CAD with DM (D-CAD n = 23). Baseline differences between the 4 groups were evaluated by the χ2 test for trend (categorical variables) and by ANOVA (continuous variables, post-hoc Tukey). Patients were then followed-up during two years for the occurrence of MACE (cardiac death, stroke, myocardial infarction or myocardial revascularization). The association of candidate variables with the occurrence of 2-year MACE was assessed by univariate analysis.
The mean age was 58.2 ± 0.9 years, and 51% were men. Patients with CAD had a higher mean age (p = 0.011) and a higher percentage were male (p = 0.040). There were no significant baseline differences between the 4 groups regarding hypertension, smoking status, blood pressure levels, lipid levels or inflammatory markers. TGF-β1 was similar between patients with or without CAD or DM (35.1 ×/÷ 1.3, 33.6 ×/÷ 1.6, 33.9 ×/÷ 1.4 and 31.8 ×/÷ 1.4 ng/ml in C, D, C-CAD and D-CAD, respectively, p = 0.547). In the 2-year follow-ip, independent predictors of 2-year MACE were age (p = 0.007), C-reactive protein (p = 0.048) and systolic blood pressure (p = 0.008), but not TGF-β1.
Serum TGF-β1 was not associated with CAD or MACE occurrence in patients with or without DM.
PMCID: PMC1976604  PMID: 17651487
23.  Reduced Glomerular Filtration Rate and Its Association with Clinical Outcome in Older Patients at Risk of Vascular Events: Secondary Analysis 
PLoS Medicine  2009;6(1):e1000016.
Reduced glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is associated with increased cardiovascular risk in young and middle aged individuals. Associations with cardiovascular disease and mortality in older people are less clearly established. We aimed to determine the predictive value of the GFR for mortality and morbidity using data from the 5,804 participants randomized in the Prospective Study of Pravastatin in the Elderly at Risk (PROSPER).
Methods and Findings
Glomerular filtration rate was estimated (eGFR) using the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease equation and was categorized in the ranges ([20–40], [40–50], [50–60]) ≥ 60 ml/min/1.73 m2. Baseline risk factors were analysed by category of eGFR, with and without adjustment for other risk factors. The associations between baseline eGFR and morbidity and mortality outcomes, accrued after an average of 3.2 y, were investigated using Cox proportional hazard models adjusting for traditional risk factors. We tested for evidence of an interaction between the benefit of statin treatment and baseline eGFR status. Age, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, C-reactive protein (CRP), body mass index, fasting glucose, female sex, histories of hypertension and vascular disease were associated with eGFR (p = 0.001 or less) after adjustment for other risk factors. Low eGFR was independently associated with risk of all cause mortality, vascular mortality, and other noncancer mortality and with fatal and nonfatal coronary and heart failure events (hazard ratios adjusted for CRP and other risk factors (95% confidence intervals [CIs]) for eGFR < 40 ml/min/1.73m2 relative to eGFR ≥ 60 ml/min/1.73m2 respectively 2.04 (1.48–2.80), 2.37 (1.53–3.67), 3.52 (1.78–6.96), 1.64 (1.18–2.27), 3.31 (2.03–5.41). There were no nominally statistically significant interactions (p < 0.05) between randomized treatment allocation and eGFR for clinical outcomes, with the exception of the outcome of coronary heart disease death or nonfatal myocardial infarction (p = 0.021), with the interaction suggesting increased benefit of statin treatment in subjects with impaired GFRs.
We have established that, in an elderly population over the age of 70 y, impaired GFR is associated with female sex, with presence of vascular disease, and with levels of other risk factors that would be associated with increased risk of vascular disease. Further, impaired GFR is independently associated with significant levels of increased risk of all cause mortality and fatal vascular events and with composite fatal and nonfatal coronary and heart failure outcomes. Our analyses of the benefits of statin treatment in relation to baseline GFR suggest that there is no reason to exclude elderly patients with impaired renal function from treatment with a statin.
Using data from the PROSPER trial, Ian Ford and colleagues investigate whether reduced glomerular filtration rate is associated with cardiovascular and mortality risk among elderly people.
Editors' Summary
Cardiovascular disease (CVD)—disease that affects the heart and/or the blood vessels—is a common cause of death in developed countries. In the USA, for example, the single leading cause of death is coronary heart disease, a CVD in which narrowing of the heart's blood vessels slows or stops the blood supply to the heart and eventually causes a heart attack. Other types of CVD include stroke (in which narrowing of the blood vessels interrupts the brain's blood supply) and heart failure (a condition in which the heart can no longer pump enough blood to the rest of the body). Many factors increase the risk of developing CVD, including high blood pressure (hypertension), high blood cholesterol, having diabetes, smoking, and being overweight. Tools such as the “Framingham risk calculator” assess an individual's overall CVD risk by taking these and other risk factors into account. CVD risk can be minimized by taking drugs to reduce blood pressure or cholesterol levels (for example, pravastatin) and by making lifestyle changes.
Why Was This Study Done?
Another potential risk factor for CVD is impaired kidney (renal) function. In healthy people, the kidneys filter waste products and excess fluid out of the blood. A reduced “estimated glomerular filtration rate” (eGFR), which indicates impaired renal function, is associated with increased CVD in young and middle-aged people and increased all-cause and cardiovascular death in people who have vascular disease. But is reduced eGFR also associated with CVD and death in older people? If it is, it would be worth encouraging elderly people with reduced eGFR to avoid other CVD risk factors. In this study, the researchers determine the predictive value of eGFR for all-cause and vascular mortality (deaths caused by CVD) and for incident vascular events (a first heart attack, stroke, or heart failure) using data from the Prospective Study of Pravastatin in the Elderly at Risk (PROSPER). This clinical trial examined pravastatin's effects on CVD development among 70–82 year olds with pre-existing vascular disease or an increased risk of CVD because of smoking, hypertension, or diabetes.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The trial participants were divided into four groups based on their eGFR at the start of the study. The researchers then investigated the association between baseline CVD risk factors and baseline eGFR and between baseline eGFR and vascular events and deaths that occurred during the 3-year study. Several established CVD risk factors were associated with a reduced eGFR after allowing for other risk factors. In addition, people with a low eGFR (between 20 and 40 units) were twice as likely to die from any cause as people with an eGFR above 60 units (the normal eGFR for a young person is 100 units; eGFR decreases with age) and more than three times as likely to have nonfatal coronary heart disease or heart failure. A low eGFR also increased the risk of vascular mortality, other noncancer deaths, and fatal coronary heart disease and heart failure. Finally, pravastatin treatment reduced coronary heart disease deaths and nonfatal heart attacks most effectively among participants with the greatest degree of eGFR impairment.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings suggest that, in elderly people, impaired renal function is associated with levels of established CVD risk factors that increase the risk of vascular disease. They also suggest that impaired kidney function increases the risk of all-cause mortality, fatal vascular events, and fatal and nonfatal coronary heat disease and heart failure. Because the study participants were carefully chosen for inclusion in PROSPER, these findings may not be generalizable to all elderly people with vascular disease or vascular disease risk factors. Nevertheless, increased efforts should probably be made to encourage elderly people with reduced eGFR and other vascular risk factors to make lifestyle changes to reduce their overall CVD risk. Finally, although the effect of statins in elderly patients with renal dysfunction needs to be examined further, these findings suggest that this group of patients should benefit at least as much from statins as elderly patients with healthy kidneys.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
The MedlinePlus Encyclopedia has pages on coronary heart disease, stroke, and heart failure (in English and Spanish)
MedlinePlus provides links to many other sources of information on heart disease, vascular disease, and stroke (in English and Spanish)
The US National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases provides information on how the kidneys work and what can go wrong with them, including a list of links to further information about kidney disease
The American Heart Association provides information on all aspects of cardiovascular disease for patients, caregivers, and professionals (in several languages)
More information about PROSPER is available on the Web site of the Vascular Biochemistry Department of the University of Glasgow
PMCID: PMC2628400  PMID: 19166266
24.  Inflammation, oxidative stress and renin angiotensin system in atherosclerosis 
Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease associated with cardiovascular dysfunction including myocardial infarction, unstable angina, sudden cardiac death, stroke and peripheral thromboses. It has been predicted that atherosclerosis will be the primary cause of death in the world by 2020. Atherogenesis is initiated by endothelial injury due to oxidative stress associated with cardiovascular risk factors including diabetes mellitus, hypertension, cigarette smoking, dyslipidemia, obesity, and metabolic syndrome. The impairment of the endothelium associated with cardiovascular risk factors creates an imbalance between vasodilating and vasoconstricting factors, in particular, an increase in angiotensin II (Ang II) and a decrease in nitric oxide. The renin-angiotensin system (RAS), and its primary mediator Ang II, also have a direct influence on the progression of the atherosclerotic process via effects on endothelial function, inflammation, fibrinolytic balance, and plaque stability. Anti-inflammatory agents [statins, secretory phospholipase A2 inhibitor, lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 inhibitor, 5-lipoxygenase activating protein, chemokine motif ligand-2, C-C chemokine motif receptor 2 pathway inhibitors, methotrexate, IL-1 pathway inhibitor and RAS inhibitors (angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors)], Ang II receptor blockers and ranin inhibitors may slow inflammatory processes and disease progression. Several studies in human using anti-inflammatory agents and RAS inhibitors revealed vascular benefits and reduced progression of coronary atherosclerosis in patients with stable angina pectoris; decreased vascular inflammatory markers, improved common carotid intima-media thickness and plaque volume in patients with diagnosed atherosclerosis. Recent preclinical studies have demonstrated therapeutic efficacy of vitamin D analogs paricalcitol in ApoE-deficient atherosclerotic mice.
PMCID: PMC4549761  PMID: 26322175
Atherosclerosis; Renin-angiotensin system; Inflammation; Oxidants/antioxidants imbalance; Anti-inflammatory drugs; Renin-angiotensin system blockers
25.  Predictive Value of Brachial Flow-Mediated Dilation for Incident Cardiovascular Events in a Population-Based Study: The Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis 
Circulation  2009;120(6):502-509.
Although brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD) predicts recurrent cardiovascular events, its predictive value for incident cardiovascular disease (CVD) events in adults free of CVD is not well established. We assessed the predictive value of FMD for incident CVD events in the Multi Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA).
Methods and Results
Brachial artery FMD was measured in a nested case- cohort sample of 3026 out of 6814 subjects (mean ± SD age 61.2 ± 9.9 years), in MESA, a population-based cohort study of adults free of clinical CV disease at baseline recruited at six clinic sites in the USA. The sample comprised 50.2% females, 34.3% Caucasian, 19.7% Chinese, 20.8% African Americans and 25.1% Hispanics. Probability-weighted Cox proportional hazard analysis was used to examine the association between FMD and five years of adjudicated incident CVD events, including incident myocardial infarction, definite angina, coronary revascularization (coronary artery bypass grafting, percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty or other revascularization), stroke, resuscitated cardiac arrest and CVD death.
Mean (SD) FMD of the cohort was 4.4 (2.8) %. In probability-weighted Cox models, FMD/unit SD was significantly associated with incident cardiovascular events in both the univariate(adjusted for age and gender) [hazard ratio; 0.79(95% CI, 0.65–0.97), p=0.01], after adjusting for the Framingham Risk Score (FRS) [hazard ratio; 0.80(95%CI, 0.62–0.97), p=0.025] and also in multivariable models [hazard ratio; 0.84(95%CI, 0.71–0.99), p=0.04] after adjusting for age, gender, diabetes mellitus, cigarette smoking status, systolic blood pressure, HDL, LDL, triglycerides, heart rate, statin use and blood pressure medication use. The c statistic (AUC) of FMD, FRS, FRS + FMD) were 0.65, 0.74 and 0.74 respectively. Compared with the FRS alone, the addition of FMD to the FRS net correctly re-classifies 52% of subjects with no incident CVD event, but net incorrectly reclassifies 23% of subjects with an incident CVD event; an overall net correct re-classification of 29% (p < 0.001).
Brachial FMD is a predictor of incident cardiovascular events in population based adults. Even though the addition of FMD to the FRS did not improve discrimination of subjects at risk of CVD events in ROC analysis, it did improve the classification of subjects as low, intermediate and high CVD risk compared to the FRS.
PMCID: PMC2740975  PMID: 19635967
Endothelial dysfunction; brachial flow-mediated dilation; incident cardiovascular event; healthy adults

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