A nonlinear effect of hyperglycemia and current cigarette smoking are major determinants of the onset of microalbuminuria in type 1 diabetes

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Journal Article
Diabetes, 2001, 50 (12), pp. 2842 - 2849
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Cigarette smoking and poor glycemic control are risk factors for diabetic nephropathy in type 1 diabetes. However, the specifics of the relation of these risk factors to the onset of this complication have not been elucidated. To investigate these issues, we followed for 4 years 943 Joslin Clinic patients aged 15-44 years with type 1 diabetes who had normoalbuminuria during the 2-year baseline period. Microalbuminuria developed in 109 of the 943 individuals, giving an incidence rate of 3.3/100 person-years. The risk of onset of microalbuminuria was predicted somewhat more precisely by the measurements during the 1st and 2nd years preceding onset than by all the measurements during the longer (4-year) interval, suggesting attenuation of the impact of past hyperglycemia over time. Point estimates of the incidence rate (per 100 person-years) according to quartiles of HbA1cduring the 1st and 2nd years preceding the outcome were 1.3 in the 1st, 1.5 in the 2nd, 3.1 in the 3rd, and 6.9 in the 4th (P = 1.3 × 10-9). Point estimates of the incidence rate (per 100 person-years) according to smoking status were 7.9 for current smokers, 1.8 for past smokers, and 2.2 for those who had never smoked (P = 2.0 × 10-7). In a multiple logistic model, the independent effects of HbA1clevel and cigarette smoking remained highly significant, but their magnitudes were reduced. Using the same covariates in a generalized additive model, we examined the shape of the relationship between HbA1cand onset of microalbuminuria and found significant nonlinearity in the logarithm of odds scale (P = 0.04). The slope was steeper with HbA1c>8% than <8%. Furthermore, the change in the slope was magnified among current smokers. In conclusion, patients with type 1 diabetes who smoke and have an HbA1c>8% have the highest risk of onset of microalbuminuria.
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