Glycated hemoglobin and the risk of kidney disease and retinopathy in adults with and without diabetes

Elizabeth Selvin, Yang Ning, Michael W. Steffes, Lori D. Bash, Ronald Klein, Tien Y. Wong, Brad C. Astor, A. Richey Sharrett, Frederick L. Brancati, Josef Coresh

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113 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Glycated hemoglobin was recently recommended for use as a diagnostic test for diabetes. We examined the association between 2010 American Diabetes Association diagnostic cut points for glycated hemoglobin and microvascular outcomes (chronic kidney disease, end-stage renal disease [ESRD], and retinopathy) and formally tested for the presence of risk thresholds in the relationships of glycated hemoglobin with these outcomes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Prospective cohort and cross-sectional analyses of 11,357 participants (773 with a history of diagnosed diabetes) from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study. RESULTS: During a median of 14 years of follow-up of individuals without diagnosed diabetes at baseline, clinical categories of glycated hemoglobin were associated with risk of chronic kidney disease, with adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) of 1.12 (0.94 -1.34) and 1.39 (1.04 -1.85) for glycated hemoglobin 5.7- 6.4% and <6.5%, respectively, as compared with <5.7% (P trend = 0.002). The corresponding HRs for ESRD were 1.51 (0.82-2.76) and 1.98 (0.83- 4.73), respectively (P trend = 0.047). In the absence of diagnosed diabetes, glycated hemoglobin was cross sectionally associated with the presence of moderate/severe retinopathy, with adjusted odds ratios of 1.42 (0.69 -2.92) and 2.91 (1.19 -7.11) for glycated hemoglobin 5.7-<6.5% and ≥6.5%, respectively, compared with <5.7% (P trend = 0.011). Risk associations were stronger among individuals with a history of diabetes. We did not observe significant thresholds in the associations of glycated hemoglobin with kidney disease risk or retinopathy. CONCLUSIONS: These data from a community-based, biracial population support the use of new 2010 American Diabetes Association glycated hemoglobin cut points for the diagnosis of diabetes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)298-305
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


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