HbA1c and coronary artery disease

A new study found that HbA1c measurement can be used to predict coronary artery disease (CAD) in non-diabetic patients.

CAD is the leading cause of death worldwide, with approx. 9 million deaths per year. Biochemical markers that can identify the risk of CAD are an important tool in preventive medicine, in order to provide healthier and longer lifespan to individuals and lower costs for health care systems.

HbA1c is a parameter that represents the average blood glucose level over the past 8 - 12 weeks and is therefore used for long-term glycemic control in diabetic individuals. Long‐term high blood sugar levels have been shown to pose a risk of cardiovascular disease.

In this new study by Kayali and Ozder, HbA1c levels were obtained from 247 patients without type 2 diabetes. Logistic regression analysis was used to investigate the risk factors affecting stenosis positivity.

Results showed that 120 patients were without any stenosis in any coronary artery, 56 patients were with >50% stenosis in one coronary artery, and 71 patients were with >50% stenosis in more than one coronary artery. There was a statistically significant difference between HbA1c measurements according to the degree of stenosis and the cutoff point for stenosis positivity for HbA1c was 5.6 and above. Regression analysis identified HbA1c as an independent risk factor for CAD. One unit increase in HbA1c level increases the risk of stenosis up to 12.4-fold.

In conclusion, the study showed that HbA1c can be used as an independent marker in determining the probability and severity of coronary artery disease in non-diabetic individuals. HbA1c is therefore a useful marker in primary care predicting CAD.

References

  1. WHO. The top 10 causes of death. https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/the-top-10-causes-of-death [accessed 27.11.2020 13:46]
  2. Kayali Y, Aclan O. Glycosylated hemoglobin A1c predicts coronary artery disease in non‐diabetic patients. Journal of Clinical Laboratory Analysis (2020): e23612.