Glycemic control may be an underestimated risk factor in diabetic patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Chronic statin therapy may improve glycemic control and outcome in these patients. In an observational cohort study of 425 consecutive diabetic patients with PAD, chronic statin therapy was noted, the ankle-brachial index was measured, and serial glycemic hemoglobin (HbA1c) measurements were obtained. During follow-up (median 7 years), all-cause mortality and cardiac death occurred in 37% and 22%, respectively. Decreases in HbA1c and HbA1c variability independently predicted outcome in addition to baseline ankle-brachial index values. Patients with chronic statin therapy were more likely to have decreasing HbA1c values (adjusted hazard ratio [HR]= 1.86, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.27-2.74) and HbA1c values <7% (adjusted HR = 2.58, 95% CI 1.49-4.48) during follow-up. Statins were also significantly associated with lower all-cause mortality (adjusted HR = 0.39, 95% CI 0.26-0.61) and cardiac death rate (adjusted HR = 0.40, 95% CI 0.24-76). Based on the results of the current observational study, we conclude that serial HbA1c measurements can improve risk stratification in diabetic patients with PAD. In addition, statin therapy is associated with desirable glycemic control and improved long-term outcome.

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Journal Annals of Vascular Surgery
Feringa, H.H.H, Karagiannis, S.E, Vidakovic, R, Elhendy, A, Schouten, O, Boersma, H, … Poldermans, D. (2007). Glycemic Control, Lipid-Lowering Treatment, and Prognosis in Diabetic Patients with Peripheral Atherosclerotic Disease. Annals of Vascular Surgery, 21(6), 780–789. doi:10.1016/j.avsg.2007.04.004