Author(s): Wackers FJ, Young LH, Inzucchi SE, Chyun DA, Davey JA
OBJECTIVE: To assess the prevalence and clinical predictors of silent myocardial ischemia in asymptomatic patients with type 2 diabetes and to test the effectiveness of current American Diabetes Association screening guidelines. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: In the Detection of Ischemia in Asymptomatic Diabetics (DIAD) study, 1,123 patients with type 2 diabetes, aged 50-75 years, with no known or suspected coronary artery disease, were randomly assigned to either stress testing and 5-year clinical follow-up or to follow-up only. The prevalence of ischemia in 522 patients randomized to stress testing was assessed by adenosine technetium-99m sestamibi single-photon emission-computed tomography myocardial perfusion imaging. RESULTS: A total of 113 patients (22%) had silent ischemia, including 83 with regional myocardial perfusion abnormalities and 30 with normal perfusion but other abnormalities (i.e., adenosine-induced ST-segment depression, ventricular dilation, or rest ventricular dysfunction). Moderate or large perfusion defects were present in 33 patients. The strongest predictors for abnormal tests were abnormal Valsalva (odds ratio [OR] 5.6), male sex (2.5), and diabetes duration (5.2). Other traditional cardiac risk factors or inflammatory and prothrombotic markers were not predictive. Ischemic adenosine-induced ST-segment depression with normal perfusion (n = 21) was associated with women (OR 3.4). Selecting only patients who met American Diabetes Association guidelines would have failed to identify 41% of patients with silent ischemia. CONCLUSIONS: Silent myocardial ischemia occurs in greater than one in five asymptomatic patients with type 2 diabetes. Traditional and emerging cardiac risk factors were not associated with abnormal stress tests, although cardiac autonomic dysfunction was a strong predictor of ischemia.