Comparative predictive ability of visit-to-visit HbA1c variability measures for microvascular disease risk in type 2 diabetes

Chen Yi Yang, Pei Fang Su, Jo Ying Hung, Huang Tz Ou, Shihchen Kuo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Background: To assess the associations of various HbA1c measures, including a single baseline HbA1c value, overall mean, yearly updated means, standard deviation (HbA1c-SD), coefficient of variation (HbA1c-CV), and HbA1c variability score (HVS), with microvascular disease (MVD) risk in patients with type 2 diabetes. Methods: Linked data between National Cheng Kung University Hospital and Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database were utilized to identify the study cohort. The primary outcome was the composite MVD events (retinopathy, nephropathy, or neuropathy) occurring during the study follow-up. Cox model analyses were performed to assess the associations between HbA1c measures and MVD risk, with adjustment for patients' baseline HbA1c, demographics, comorbidities/complications, and treatments. Results: In the models without adjustment for baseline HbA1c, all HbA1c variability and mean measures were significantly associated with MVD risk, except HVS. With adjustment for baseline HbA1c, HbA1c-CV had the strongest association with MVD risk. For every unit of increase in HbA1c-CV, the MVD risk significantly increased by 3.42- A nd 2.81-fold based on the models without and with adjustment for baseline HbA1c, respectively. The associations of HbA1c variability and mean measures with MVD risk in patients with baseline HbA1c < 7.5% (58 mmol/mol) were stronger compared with those in patients with baseline HbA1c ≥ 7.5% (58 mmol/mol). Conclusions: HbA1c variability, especially HbA1c-CV, can supplement conventional baseline HbA1c measure for explaining MVD risk. HbA1c variability may play a greater role in MVD outcomes among patients with relatively optimal baseline glycemic control compared to those with relatively poor baseline glycemic control.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105
JournalCardiovascular Diabetology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jul 6

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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