Diabetes and Progression of Heart Failure: The Atherosclerosis Risk In Communities (ARIC) Study

Justin B. Echouffo-Tcheugui, Chiadi E. Ndumele, Sui Zhang, Roberta Florido, Kunihiro Matsushita, Josef Coresh, Hicham Skali, Amil M. Shah, Elizabeth Selvin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The influence of diabetes on progression from preclinical heart failure (HF) stages to overt HF is poorly understood. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to characterize the influence of diabetes on the progression from preclinical HF stages (A or B based on the 2021 Universal Definition) to overt HF. Methods: We included 4,774 adults with preclinical HF (stage A [n = 1,551] or B [n = 3,223]) who attended the ARIC (Atherosclerosis Risk In Communities) study Visit 5 (2011-2013). Within each stage (A or B), we assessed the associations of diabetes and glycemic control (hemoglobin A1C [HbA1C] <7% vs ≥7%) with progression to HF, and of cross-categories of HF stages (A vs B), diabetes, and glycemic control with incident HF. Results: Among the participants (mean age 75.4 years, 58% women, 20% Black), there were 470 HF events during 8.6 years of follow-up. Stage B participants with HbA1C ≥7% experienced clinical HF at a younger age than those with controlled diabetes or without diabetes (mean age 80 years vs 83 years vs 82 years; P < 0.001). HbA1C ≥7% was more strongly associated with HF in stage B (HR: 1.83; 95% CI: 1.33-2.51) compared with stage A (HR: 1.52; 95% CI: 0.53-4.38). In cross-categories of preclinical HF stage and HbA1C, participants with stage B and HbA1C ≥7% had increased risk of HF progression compared with stage A without diabetes (HR: 7.56; 95% CI: 4.68-12.20). Conclusions: Among older adults with preclinical HF stages, uncontrolled diabetes was associated with substantial risk of HF progression. Our results suggest that targeting diabetes early in the HF process is critical.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2285-2293
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Issue number23
StatePublished - Jun 14 2022


  • diabetes
  • heart failure
  • outcomes
  • preclinical heart failure stages
  • risk
  • type 2 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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