Cardiovascular health in adults with type 1 diabetes

Margaret M. McCarthy, Marjorie Funk, Margaret Grey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Adults with type 1 diabetes (T1D) are at risk for cardiovascular (CV) disease. Managing CV risk is an important prevention strategy. The American Heart Association has defined 7 factors for ideal CV health. The purpose of this 2016 secondary analysis was to assess the prevalence of 6 CV health factors in a sample of adults ≥ 18 (n = 7153) in the T1D Exchange Clinic registry. CV health factors include: hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) < 7%, BMI < 25 kg/m2, blood pressure < 120/80 mm Hg, total cholesterol < 200 mg/dL, non-smoking, and physical activity ≥ 150 min/week. HbA1c < 7% was substituted for the AHA health factor of fasting blood glucose. Frequencies of each factor were tabulated for the total sample and for each gender. Logistic regression examined variables associated with achievement of each CV health factor. The mean age was 37.14 ± 17 years. Mean HbA1c was 7.9 ± 1.5%, and duration was 19.5 ± 13.5 years. The majority (54%) were working full or part-time. Achievement of CV health factors in the whole sample ranged from 27% (HbA1c < 7%) to 94% nonsmoking. Achievement of some factors varied by gender. Common variables associated with several CV health factors included gender, education, employment, and T1D duration. This young sample exhibited low levels of some CV health factors, especially HbA1c and physical activity. Providers need to routinely assess and advise on management of all CV risk factors to prevent this common diabetes complication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-143
Number of pages6
JournalPreventive Medicine
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Risk factors
  • Type 1 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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