Biomarkers associated with severe hypoglycaemia and death in ACCORD

L. S. Chow, H. Chen, M. E. Miller, S. M. Marcovina, E. R. Seaquist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Aims and hypothesis: In patients with Type 2 diabetes, intensive glycaemic control is associated with hypoglycaemia and possibly increased mortality. However, no blood biomarkers exist to predict these outcomes. Using participants from the Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes (ACCORD) study, we hypothesized that insulin deficiency and islet autoantibodies in patients with clinically diagnosed Type 2 diabetes would be associated with severe hypoglycaemia and death. Methods: A nested case-control study design was used. A case (n = 86) was a participant who died with at least one episode of severe hypoglycaemia, defined as hypoglycaemia requiring assistance, at any point during ACCORD follow-up. A control (n = 344) was a participant who did not die and did not have severe hypoglycaemia during follow-up. Each case was matched to four controls (glycaemic intervention arm, race, age and BMI). Baseline insulin deficiency (fasting C-peptide ≤ 0.15 nmol/l) and islet autoantibodies [glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), tyrosine phosphatase-related islet antigen 2 (IA2), insulin (IAA) and zinc transporter (ZnT8)] were measured. Conditional logistic regression with and without adjustment for age, BMI and diabetes duration was used. Results: Death during ACCORD in those who experienced at least one episode of severe hypoglycaemia was associated with insulin deficiency [OR 4.8 (2.1, 11.1): P < 0.0001], GAD antibodies [OR 2.3 (1.1, 5.1): P = 0.04], the presence of IAA or baseline insulin use [OR 6.1 (3.5,10.7): P < 0.0001], which remained significant after adjusting for age, BMI, and diabetes duration. There was no significant association with IA2 or ZnT8 antibodies. Conclusions: In patients with Type 2 diabetes, C-peptide or GAD antibodies may serve as blood biomarkers predicting higher odds of subsequent severe hypoglycaemia and death. (Clinical Trial Registry No: NCT00000620, for original ACCORD study).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1076-1083
Number of pages8
JournalDiabetic Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank the staff and participants of the ACCORD study for their important contributions. We acknowledge funding from the National Institutes of Health (1R01DK095360-01) for this study. LSC, MEM and ES designed the research. SMM provided essential data for analysis. LSC, HC, MEM, and ERS analysed the data. LSC, HC, MEM, SMM and ERS wrote the manuscript. LSC, HC, MEM, SMM and ERS contributed to the discussion and reviewed/edited the manuscript. LSC and ERS are the guarantors for the manuscript and have the primary responsibility for the final content and had full access to all the data in the study and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis. All authors have read and approved the final manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Diabetes UK

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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