Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) has proven to be indicative in the development of microvascular complications. In this study, the contribution of HbA1c variability to microvascular complications was evaluated.
Twenty-one cases with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) who developed microvascular complications and 39 cases without complications, that were similar in terms of gender, age of diagnosis, insulin treatment, insulin doses (U/kg), and mean HbA1c levels were included.
Mean age of T1DM diagnosis was 5.87 ± 3.93 years in the complication group and 4.63 ± 3.33 years in the control group. Nephropathy was detected in 17 cases, neuropathy in 8 cases, and retinopathy in 1 case. Nephropathy occurred at a mean age of 11.52 ± 4.12 years and neuropathy at 14.13 ± 5.68 years. The mean HbA1c during follow-up was similar in the group with complications and the control group (8.60 ± 0.63 vs. 8.84 ± 1.32). Adjusted HbA1c-standard deviation (SD) and HbA1c-variation coefficient (CV) values were 1.30 ± 0.65 and 14.36 ± 6.23 in the group with complications (p=0.014), and 0.91 ± 0.37 and 10.59 ± 4.01 in the control group (p=0.013). In the Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC)-analysis for microvascular complications, the limit value HbA1c-CV was 11.99 (sensitivity: 61.9%, specificity: 71.9%). This value for HbA1c-SD was 0.9699 (sensitivity: 71.43%, specificity: 66.67%).
This study has shown that long-term fluctuations in HbA1c are associated with the development of microvascular complications in type 1 diabetes.