OBJECTIVES: The study sought to determine the prognostic importance of left atrial (LA) dilation in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and no history of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
BACKGROUND: T2DM is associated with the development of CVD, and morphological changes in the heart may appear before symptoms arise.
METHODS: A total of 305 T2DM patients without known CVD referred to a diabetes clinic were included consecutively (age 58.6 ± 11.3 years, diabetes duration 2.0 [interquartile range: 0 to 6.0] years). Each patient underwent a comprehensive echocardiogram and a myocardial perfusion scintigraphy (MPS) at inclusion. Patients were divided according to left atrial volume index (LAVi) ≥32 ml/m(2). Patients were followed for median of 5.6 (interquartile range: 5.1 to 6.1) years for the occurrence of major cardiac events and death.
RESULTS: LAVi ≥32 ml/m(2) was found in 105 patients (34%). During follow-up, 60 patients (20%) experienced the composite endpoint, of whom 28 (9%) died. Patients with LAVi ≥32 ml/m(2) had a significantly higher cardiac event rate and death rate (p < 0.001 and p = 0.002, respectively). Univariate predictors of the composite endpoint were age, hypertension, left ventricular diastolic function, E/e'septum-ratio and LAVi ≥32 ml/m(2); however, myocardial ischemia on MPS was not a predictor. When adjusting for age and hypertension, only LAVi ≥32 ml/m(2) was a predictor of the composite endpoint (hazard ratio: 1.82 [95% confidence interval: 1.08 to 3.07], p = 0.024).
CONCLUSIONS: Increased LAVi was an independent and incremental predictor of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in T2DM patients with no history of CVD. (Presence of Macrovascular Disease in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus; NCT00298844).