Adults with diabetes are at risk for cardiovascular (CV) events, possibly due to increased arterial stiffness (AS) and cardiac autonomic neuropathy (CAN). We sought to determine whether 1) AS is associated with cardiac target organ damage in young adults with youth-onset diabetes, 2) whether CAN is associated with AS, as one possible etiology for increased AS in this cohort, and 3) whether these relationships differ by type of diabetes.


Participants from the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Study (type 1 diabetes [T1D], n = 222; type 2 diabetes [T2D], n = 177; mean age 23 years) had clinical, echocardiographic, AS, and CAN assessed. Linear regression was performed to determine whether AS was associated with cardiac changes and CAN and whether relationships differed by diabetes type.


AS was significantly associated with cardiac structure (left ventricular mass index, P < 0.0001), systolic function (ejection fraction, P = 0.03) and diastolic function (transmitral peak early [E]/atrial [A] wave velocities ratio, P = 0.008; early [e′]/atrial [a′] waves, P = 0.02) after adjustments for CV risk factors. The association between AS and CAN was not significant when other important covariates were added. These relationships were mostly similar in both T1D and T2D.


AS is associated with cardiac changes in young adults with diabetes. CAN-induced AS does not appear to be an etiology for cardiac abnormalities in this cohort.

This article contains supplementary material online at https://doi.org/10.2337/figshare.21892743.

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