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Prentice JC, Mohr DC, Zhang L, Li D, Legler A, Nelson RE, Conlin PR. Increased Hemoglobin A Time in Range Reduces Adverse Health Outcomes in Older Adults With Diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2021 Aug 1; 44(8):1750-1756.
OBJECTIVE: Short- and long-term glycemic variability are risk factors for diabetes complications. However, there are no validated A1C target ranges or measures of A1C stability in older adults. We evaluated the association of a patient-specific A1C variability measure, A1C time in range (A1C TIR), on major adverse outcomes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: We conducted a retrospective observational study using administrative data from the Department of Veterans Affairs and Medicare from 2004 to 2016. Patients were = 65 years old, had diabetes, and had at least four A1C tests during a 3-year baseline period. A1C TIR was the percentage of days during the baseline in which A1C was in an individualized target range (6.0-7.0% up to 8.0-9.0%) on the basis of clinical characteristics and predicted life expectancy. Increasing A1C TIR was divided into categories of 20% increments and linked to mortality and cardiovascular disease (CVD) (i.e., myocardial infarction, stroke). RESULTS: The study included 402,043 veterans (mean [SD] age 76.9 [5.7] years, 98.8% male). During an average of 5.5 years of follow-up, A1C TIR had a graded relationship with mortality and CVD. Cox proportional hazards models showed that lower A1C TIR was associated with increased mortality (A1C TIR 0 to < 20%: hazard ratio [HR] 1.22 [95% CI 1.20-1.25]) and CVD (A1C TIR 0 to < 20%: HR 1.14 [95% CI 1.11-1.19]) compared with A1C TIR 80-100%. Competing risk models and shorter follow-up (e.g., 24 months) showed similar results. CONCLUSIONS: In older adults with diabetes, maintaining A1C levels within individualized target ranges is associated with lower risk of mortality and CVD.