Duration of Diabetes and Incident Heart Failure: The ARIC (Atherosclerosis Risk In Communities) Study

Justin B. Echouffo-Tcheugui, Sui Zhang, Roberta Florido, Carine Hamo, James S. Pankow, Erin D. Michos, Ronald B. Goldberg, Vijay Nambi, Gary Gerstenblith, Wendy S. Post, Roger S. Blumenthal, Christie M. Ballantyne, Josef Coresh, Elizabeth Selvin, Chiadi E. Ndumele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: This study assessed the association of diabetes duration with incident heart failure (HF).

BACKGROUND: Diabetes increases HF risk. However, the independent effect of diabetes duration on incident HF is unknown.

METHODS: We included 9,734 participants (mean age 63 years, 58% women, 22% Black) at ARIC (Atherosclerosis Risk In Communities) Visit 4 (1996-1998) without HF or coronary heart disease. We calculated diabetes duration at Visit 4 (baseline), utilizing diabetes status at the first 4 ARIC visits spaced 3 years apart, and self-reported diagnosis date for those with diabetes diagnosed before Visit 1. We used Cox regression to estimate associations of diabetes duration with incident HF, accounting for intercurrent coronary heart disease and other risk factors. We performed analyses stratified by age (<65 years or ≥65 years), race, sex, and glycemic control (hemoglobin A 1C [HbA 1C] consistently <7%, vs HbA 1C ≥7%), with tests for interaction.

RESULTS: Over 22.5 years of follow-up, there were 1,968 HF events. Compared to those without diabetes, HF risk rose with longer diabetes duration, with the highest risk among those with ≥15 y diabetes duration (HR: 2.82; 95% CI: 2.25-3.63). Each 5-year increase in diabetes duration was associated with a 17% (95% CI: 11-22) relative increase in HF risk. Similar results were observed across HF subtypes. The HF and diabetes duration associations were stronger among those aged <65 years, those with HbA 1C ≥7%, those with a body mass index ≥30 kg/m 2, women, and Blacks (all P interactions <0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Delaying diabetes onset may augment HF prevention efforts, and therapies to improve HF outcomes might target those with long diabetes duration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)594-603
Number of pages10
JournalJACC: Heart Failure
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American College of Cardiology Foundation


  • duration of disease
  • heart failure
  • outcomes
  • risk
  • type 2 diabetes


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