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Feasibility Study of Advanced Cardiovascular Screening in Middle-Aged Patients with Diabetes

Authors Lindholt JS, Frystyk J, Hallas J, Rasmussen LM, Diederichsen ACP

Received 19 January 2020

Accepted for publication 1 April 2020

Published 6 May 2020 Volume 2020:12 Pages 447—455


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Vera Ehrenstein

Jes Sanddal Lindholt,1 Jan Frystyk,2 Jesper Hallas,3 Lars Melholt Rasmussen,4 Axel Cosmus Pyndt Diederichsen5

1Elitary Research Centre of Individualised Medicine in Arterial Disease (CIMA), Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark; 2Department of Endocrinology, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark; 3Institute of Pharmacology, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark; 4Elitary Research Centre of Individualised Medicine in Arterial Disease (CIMA), Department of Clinical Biochemistry and Pharmacology, University Hospital Odense, Odense, Denmark; 5Elitary Research Centre of Individualised Medicine in Arterial Disease (CIMA), Department of Cardiology, University Hospital Odense, Odense, Denmark

Correspondence: Axel Cosmus Pyndt Diederichsen
Department of Cardiology, University Hospital Odense, J. B. Winsløws Vej 4, Odense 5000, Denmark
Tel +45 40191227

Purpose: Cardiovascular mortality remains high among patients with diabetes compared with the general population. The primary aim was to evaluate the interest in and demand for advanced cardiovascular screening in patients with diabetes; the secondary aim was to explore its efficiency in detecting unprotected subclinical cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Patients and Methods: In a cross-sectional design, randomly selected 40– 60-year-old men and women with diabetes were invited to the screening trial. Screening encompassed (1) a comprehensive medical interview; (2) non-contrast computed tomography scanning to quantify coronary artery and aortic valve calcification, to measure left atrial size, to assess heart rhythm and to detect aortic and iliac dilatations; (3) ankle and brachial blood pressure measurements; and (4) blood and urine samples for measurements of HbA1c, lipid profile, renal function, NT-pro B-type natriuretic peptide (pro-BNP) and albuminuria. Primary outcome was participation rate; secondary outcome was rate of unprotected subclinical CVD.
Results: Of 465 invited patients, 191 (41.1%) attended screening. The participation rate was 40% (95% CI:33– 47) for males and 42% (95% CI:36– 48) for females. Twenty-four patients were excluded due to previous CVD. The remaining patients’ mean age was 52 years; 58% were males. Subclinical CVD was found in 64%, with a male preponderance (males 75% (95% CI:66– 83; females 49% (95% CI:37– 60)). Presence of severe coronary artery calcification (score ≥ 400) showed a male preponderance (males 19% (95% CI:12– 27); females 7% (95% CI:3– 16)). Aortic valve calcification, enlarged left atrial volume, atrial fibrillation, aortic dilatations, peripheral artery disease or increased pro-BNP were uncommon, and without any sex differences. Unprotected subclinical CVD was very common, and medical treatment was intensified in 60% (95% CI:53– 68) of patients.
Conclusion: We propose a feasible cardiovascular screening examination from which middle-aged patients with diabetes may benefit. However, the participation rate may be too low to warrant screening.

Keywords: diabetes, cardiovascular disease, screening, risk factors, coronary artery calcification, CT scanning

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