Joint role of non-HDL cholesterol and glycated haemoglobin in predicting future coronary heart disease events among women with type 2 diabetes

M. B. Schulze, I. Shai, J. E. Manson, Li, N. Rifai, R. Jiang, F. B. Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Aims/hypothesis. Non-HDL cholesterol (the sum of LDL, VLDL and IDL cholesterol) is considered to be particularly valuable in the management of dyslipidaemia in type 2 diabetes. However, it remains uncertain whether the association between non-HDL cholesterol and cardiovascular risk in type 2 diabetes depends on the status of hyperglycaemia. We aimed to determine whether non-HDL cholesterol predicts CHD events among diabetic women independently of currently established risk factors and the status of glycaemic control. Methods. We prospectively followed 921 diabetic women in the Nurses' Health Study, who were free of cardiovascular disease at the time that blood was drawn in 1989/90. During 10 years of follow-up, we identified 122 incident CHD cases. Results. After adjustment for age, BMI, smoking, alcohol consumption, and other lifestyle risk factors, the multivariate relative risks (RRs) of CHD for extreme quartiles were 1.97 (95% CI: 1.14-3.43) for non-HDL cholesterol, 1.78 (1.02-3.11) for apolipoprotein B-100, and 1.93 (1.15-3.22) for LDL cholesterol. However, the association between non-HDL cholesterol and CHD risk was only apparent among women with elevated fasting triglycerides (RR for extreme quartiles: 3.80; p=0.045). HbA1c was strongly associated with increased CHD risk (RR for increase by 1 unit: 1.24; 95% CI: 1.13-1.35), and both non-HDL cholesterol and HbA1c additively predicted CHD risk (RR for the combination of high non-HDL cholesterol and high HbA 1c[tertiles]: 4.59). Conclusions/interpretation. Our study suggests that non-HDL cholesterol and HbA1c are potent predictors of CHD risk in diabetic women. Therapies to lower CHD risk in diabetic patients should emphasise both glycaemic control and lipid lowering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2129-2136
Number of pages8
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2004


  • CHD
  • HbAc
  • Hypertriglyceridaemia
  • LDL cholesterol
  • Lipoproteins
  • Non-HDL cholesterol
  • Prospective studies
  • Risk factors
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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