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Differences in the association between type 2 diabetes and impaired microvascular function among Europeans and African Caribbeans

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posted on 2023-06-10, 04:38 authored by W D Strain, N Chaturvedi, P Nihoyannopoulos, C J Bulpitt, Chakravarthi RajkumarChakravarthi Rajkumar, A C Shore
Aims/hypothesis Diabetes is associated with microvascular damage in all populations, but diabetic patients of Black African descent (African Caribbeans) have a greater risk of vascular target organ damage than would be anticipated for any given blood pressure level. We investigated whether this may be due to differences in the microvasculature. Materials and methods To assess the maximum hyperaemic response to heating and the post-ischaemic response, Laser Doppler fluximetry was performed on 51 and 100 Europeans, and on 66 and 88 African Caribbeans with and without diabetes, respectively. Subjects were aged between 40 and 65 years and recruited from the general population. Echocardiographic interventricular septal thickness (IVST) was measured as a proxy for vascular target organ damage. Results In diabetic subjects of both ethnic groups, the maximum hyperaemic response and peak response to ischaemia were attenuated as compared to the corresponding non-diabetic subjects (p=0.08 for diabetic and 0.03 for non-diabetic Europeans; p=0.03 and 0.1 for African Caribbeans). Adjustment for cardiovascular risk factors, in particular insulin and blood pressure, abolished these differences in Europeans (p=0.8 for diabetic and 0.2 for non-diabetic Europeans), but not in African Caribbeans (p=0.03 and 0.05). Conclusions/interpretation Persisting microvascular dysfunction in African Caribbeans may contribute to the increased risk of target organ damage observed in diabetes in this population. The weak contribution of conventional cardiovascular risk factors to these disturbances indicates that conventional therapeutic interventions may be less beneficial in these patients. There was a risk-factor-independent, inverse association between IVST and maximal hyperaemia. These ethnic differences in microvascular responses to temperature and arterial occlusion could account for increased target organ damage in African Caribbeans.


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