Progression of functional and structural cardiac alterations in young normotensive uncomplicated patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus

Stefano Carugo, Cristina Giannattasio, Ivan Calchera, Felice Paleari, Maria Grazia Gorgoglione, Alessandra Grappiolo, Pierluigi Gamba, Giovanni Rovaris, Monica Failla, Giuseppe Mancia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: We have recently observed that in young, normotensive patients with a type I diabetes mellitus and no macro or microvascular complications, large artery structure and function are already altered. This study has been done to assess whether this condition is also characterized by early alterations in cardiac structure and function, and whether these alterations progress with time. Design and methods: In 56 insulin-treated, normotensive uncomplicated type I diabetic patients (age 35.0 ± 2 years, means ± SE) in good metabolic control, left ventricular wall thickness and diameter were measured by echocardiography together with left ventricular ejection fraction and diastolic function E/A (ratio between early and late ventricular filling), before and after 23 ± 1 months. The same measurements were made in 20 age and sex-matched subjects who served as controls (C). Results: Compared to C, diabetic patients had a significant increase in left ventricular wall (septal plus posterior wall) thickness (+ 8.4%), left ventricular mass index (+ 11%) and h/r ratio (left ventricular wall thickness/ventricular end diastolic diameter, + 16.0%) whereas they showed a reduction of E/A (-6%). In C, all echocardiographic values were unchanged after 2 years. This was the case also for diabetic patients, except for left ventricular ejection fraction and diastolic diameter which showed a significant reduction (-7.2%) and increase (+ 3.8%), respectively, with a reduction of ratio between LV wall thickness and diameter, h/r (-6.8%). Conclusions Uncomplicated type I diabetes mellitus is characterized by early structural and functional cardiac alterations. Some of these alterations show a measurable progression within a relatively short time span.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1675-1680
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Hypertension
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Diastolic function
  • Echocardiography
  • Hyperglycemia
  • Left ventricle hypertrophy
  • Systolic function
  • Type 1 diabetes mellitus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology


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