Preventing the development and progression of diabetic microvascular complications through optimal blood glucose control remains an important challenge. Whether metrics based on continuous glucose monitoring are useful for the management of diabetic microvascular complications is not entirely clear.
This is an exploratory analysis of an ongoing prospective, multicenter, 5-year follow-up observational study. Study participants included 999 outpatients with type 2 diabetes who underwent continuous glucose monitoring at baseline. Associations between continuous glucose monitoring-derived metrics and the severity of diabetic retinopathy or albuminuria were investigated using multivariable proportional odds models.
The overall prevalence of diabetic retinopathy was 22.2%. Multivariate analysis with proportional odds models demonstrated that continuous glucose monitoring-derived metrics related to intra-day and inter-day glucose variability are significantly associated with the severity of diabetic retinopathy, even after adjusting for various possible risk factors. However, significant relationships were not observed after adjusting for HbA1c levels. The prevalence of microalbuminuria and macroalbuminuria were 20.3% and 6.7%, respectively. Similarly, multivariate analysis demonstrated that those metrics are significantly associated with the severity of albuminuria. These relationships remained significant even after further adjusting for HbA1c levels.
Continuous glucose monitoring-derived metrics related to intra-day and inter-day glucose variability are significantly associated with the severity of diabetic retinopathy or albuminuria in patients with type 2 diabetes. Thus, evaluating these metrics might possibly be useful for risk assessment of diabetic microvascular complications.