To examine the characteristic features of risk factors for macroangiopathy (MA) in nonobese Japanese NIDDM patients, 899 NIDDM patients with and without MA were registered from 40 facilities. Of these, 386 subjects were identified as having any form of MA (total MA); these included 211 with ischemie heart disease (IHD), 163 with cerebrovascular disease (CVD), and 77 with peripheral vascular disease (PVD). Univariate analyses revealed the following common risk factors for total MA, IHD, CVD, and PVD: age, hypertension, systolic blood pressure (sBP) or diastolic blood pressure (dBP), duration of diabetes, diabetic microangiopathy (retinopathy, nephropathy, and neuropathy), low HDL cholesterol level, and higher LDL cholesterol/HDL cholesterol ratio. Additional significant risk factors for specific conditions were also identified, respectively, as male sex for total MA, IHD, and PVD, smoking for IHD and PVD, and high fasting plasma glucose level for total MA and CVD. With stepwise multivariate logistic regression analysis, older age, duration of diabetes, smoking, and low LDL cholesterol/HDL cholesterol ratio were identified as significant and independent risk factors for total MA, IHD, CVD, and PVD. Other risk factors identified were high dBP for IHD, CVD, and PVD, high sBP for total MA, and low BMI for PVD. These results clearly demonstrated that duration of diabetes, smoking, hypertension, and dyslipidemia are major risk factors for MA in NIDDM patients. Since the mean BMI was similar for both groups (∼23 kg/m2) and there were no significant differences in immunoreactive insulin levels before and after 75-g oral glucose challenge testing, obesity and hyperinsulinism at the time of the analyses were not considered to play an important role for the pathogenesis of MA in Japanese NIDDM patients. By using the χ2 test, cutoff points were determined for six of the most commonly measured risk factors. The cutoff point was the level beyond which a significantly higher prevalence of MA occurred. The cutoff points (rounded slightly upward in some cases) for fasting plasma glucose, sBP, dBP, serum total cholesterol level, serum triglyceride level, and BMI were 140 mg/dl, 140 mmHg, 80 mmHg, 180 mg/dl, 120 mg/dl, and 23 kg/m2, respectively. When these cutoff points were used as control criteria, the prevalence of MA was significantly lower in subjects whose risk factor measurements remained under the proposed control criteria for four or more of the six variables. In conclusion, in nonobese NIDDM patients, age, hypertension, and dyslipidemia were found to be risk factors for MA. Duration of diabetes was also demonstrated as an independent risk factor, indicating the close association of deranged glucose metabolism with the pathogenesis of MA in NIDDM patients. It seems to be crucial to control these risk factors for the prevention of MA in NIDDM patients.

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