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Mohr DC, Zhang L, Prentice JC, Nelson RE, Li D, Pleasants E, Conlin PR. Association of hemoglobin A1c time in range with risk for diabetes complications. BMJ open diabetes research & care. 2022 Jul 1; 10(4).
INTRODUCTION: We assessed the association between hemoglobin A1c time in range (A1c TIR), based on unique patient-level A1c target ranges, with risks of developing microvascular and macrovascular complications in older adults with diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: We used a retrospective observational study design and identified patients with diabetes from the Department of Veterans Affairs (n = 397?634). Patients were 65 years and older and enrolled in Medicare during the period 2004-2016. Patients were assigned to individualized A1c target ranges based on estimated life expectancy and the presence or absence of diabetes complications. We computed A1c TIR for patients with at least four A1c tests during a 3-year baseline period. The association between A1c TIR and time to incident microvascular and macrovascular complications was studied in models that included A1c mean and A1c SD. RESULTS: We identified 74?016 patients to assess for incident microvascular complications and 89?625 patients to assess for macrovascular complications during an average follow-up of 5.5 years. Cox proportional hazards models showed lower A1c TIR was associated with higher risk of microvascular (A1c TIR 0% to < 20%; HR = 1.04; 95%) and macrovascular complications (A1c TIR 0% to < 20%; HR = 1.07; 95%). A1c mean was associated with increased risk of microvascular and macrovascular complications but A1c SD was not. The association of A1c TIR with incidence and progression of individual diabetes complications within the microvascular and macrovascular composites showed similar trends. CONCLUSIONS: Maintaining stability of A1c levels in unique target ranges was associated with lower likelihood of developing microvascular and macrovascular complications in older adults with diabetes.