Elevated blood pressure and increased glucose levels are risk factors for the microvascular complications of type 2 diabetes. In contrast, blood pressure, but not glucose levels, appears to influence the risk of macrovascular complications. That from the Findings from a longitudinal study conducted in Poland indicate that Previous studies have yielded conflicting results regarding the impact of glucose levels on the risk of macrovascular complications, according to the report published in the July/August issue of the Journal of Diabetes and Its Complications.
To clarify the risk factors for vascular complications, Dr. Wladyslaw Grzeszczak and colleagues, from Diabetes and Nephrology in Zabrze, Poland, analyzed the medical records of all patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes who presented to a diabetes clinic between 1980 and 1994. A total of 2175 patients were identified.
The researchers found that the risk of developing nephropathy and proliferative retinopathy increased as fasting plasma glucose and mean blood pressure increased. In addition, blood pressure, but not glucose level, was directly related to the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease. High cholesterol levels were found to increase the risk of coronary artery disease and proliferative retinopathy.
Similar findings have been reported previously, the authors note. "The main advantage of our study was its longitudinal design," they point out. "Contrary to previously reported cross-sectional studies, the outcome occurred after the measurement of independent variables and not at the same time." J Diabetes Complications 2002;16:271-276.