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AIMS: Whether glycaemic control is associated with cardiovascular outcomes in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) is unclear. Consequently, we assessed the relationship between glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c ) and cardiovascular outcomes in a placebo-controlled randomized trial which demonstrated no cardiovascular effect of sitagliptin in patients with T2D and atherosclerotic vascular disease. METHODS AND RESULTS: Secondary analysis of 14 656 TECOS participants with time to event analyses using multivariable Cox proportional hazard models. During a median 3.0 (interquartile range 2.3-3.8) year follow-up, 456 (3.1% of 14 656) patients had first hospitalization for heart failure (HF), 1084 (11.5%) died, 1406 (9.6%) died or were hospitalized for HF, and 1689 (11.5%) had a non-HF cardiovascular event (cardiovascular death, non-fatal stroke, non-fatal myocardial infarction, or hospitalization for unstable angina). Associations between baseline or time-varying HbA1c and cardiovascular outcomes were U-shaped, with the lowest risk when HbA1c was around 7%. Each one-unit increase in the time-varying HbA1c above 7% was associated with an adjusted hazard ratio (HR) of 1.21 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.11-1.33] for first HF hospitalization, 1.11 (1.03-1.21) for all-cause death, 1.18 (1.09-1.26) for death or HF hospitalization, and 1.10 (1.02-1.17) for non-HF cardiovascular events. Each one-unit decrease in the time-varying HbA1c below 7% was associated with an adjusted HR of 1.35 (95% CI 1.12-1.64) for first HF hospitalization, 1.37 (1.16-1.61) for death, 1.42 (1.23-1.64) for death or HF hospitalization, and 1.22 (1.06-1.41) for non-HF cardiovascular events. CONCLUSION: Glycated haemogobin exhibits a U-shaped association with cardiovascular outcomes in patients with T2D and atherosclerotic vascular disease, with nadir around 7%. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION: Identifier: NCT00790205.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur J Heart Fail

Publication Date





2026 - 2034


Diabetes mellitus, Glycaemic control, Heart failure, Outcomes, Aged, Cardiovascular Diseases, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2, Female, Glycated Hemoglobin, Heart Failure, Hospitalization, Humans, Hypoglycemic Agents, Male, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic, Risk Factors, Sitagliptin Phosphate