Cardiovascular protection in type 2 diabetes: time to ADVANCE management ACCORDing to the evidence

Hajhosseiny, Reza; Khavandi, Kaivan; Mashayekhi, Soudeh; Greenstein, Adam S.; Malik, Rayaz A.
January 2014
Research Reports in Clinical Cardiology;2014, Vol. 5, p1
Academic Journal
Individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus are at very substantial risk of cardiovascular disease, and most will succumb to complications from premature coronary artery events. At the same time, the diabetic myocardium undergoes unique phenotypic alterations as a consequence of multiple structural and cellular injuries, which together form "diabetic cardiomyopathy." Attempts to curb risk through intensive modulation of glycemia and blood pressure have proven disappointing in preventing cardiovascular events, and potentially even dangerous. Conversely, prior to development of disease, there appears to be a linear relationship between risk parameters and events. These observations are likely the consequence of widespread vascular damage, which is present at the point that glycemic thresholds meet diagnostic criteria for diabetes. This is particularly true of the microcirculation. Interventions at the prediabetic stage have been consistent with this, where early intensive risk-factor modulation has been successful in preventing events and even regressing existing risk. Upstream, the force driving these pathologies is being overweight and obesity. High-risk individuals can be identified through simple body mass parameters, with confirmation of prediabetes/metabolic syndrome with further assessment of other metabolic parameters such as glucose and lipids. A number of novel pharmacotherapies may prove beneficial at this stage, and incretin-based therapies appear particularly promising in this respect. Similarly, bariatric procedures have shown remarkable improvements in metabolic and cardiovascular outcomes, but are clearly unsuitable as a population-wide strategy. Therapeutic lifestyle change and diet have consistently shown efficacy in reversing dysglycemia, lowering blood pressure, and optimizing cholesterol profiles. However, the longevity of these improvements is often limited, and alternative approaches therefore need to be considered. With an evolving and increasingly sophisticated evidence base for nutritional interventions, there is a clear window of opportunity to rescue these individuals from the clinical sequelae of diabetes and consequent cardiovascular complications.


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