, Volume 56, Issue 5, pp 1140-1147
Date: 12 Feb 2013

The impact of metabolic control and QTc prolongation on all-cause mortality in patients with type 2 diabetes and foot ulcers

Abstract

Aims/hypothesis

The increased all-cause mortality in patients with chronic diabetic foot ulcers cannot fully be explained by traditional cardiovascular risk factors. The significance of heart-rate-corrected QT (QTc) prolongation, a finding often seen in these patients, is unknown. Recently, the importance of metabolic control and hypoglycaemia has been discussed. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of different HbA1c levels and QTc prolongation on all-cause mortality in the high-risk population of patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and foot ulcers.

Methods

All patients with type 2 diabetes, younger than 80 years, visiting our diabetes foot unit, with a foot ulcer duration >4 weeks, were screened for participation. Patients on dialysis were excluded. Patients were grouped according to HbA1c level and QTc time ≤ or > 440 ms.

Results

Patients (n = 214, median age 69.1 years) were grouped according to HbA1c level (HbA1c < 7.5% [<58 mmol/mol] n = 81, 7.5–8.9% [58–74 mmol/mol] n = 70, >8.9% [>74 mmol/mol] n = 63). Baseline characteristics, including use of potential hypoglycaemic drugs, were similar between groups. During the 8 years of follow-up 151 patients died (70.6%) and HbA1c < 7.5% (<58 mmol/mol) was strongly associated with increased mortality. The highest mortality was seen in patients with a combination of HbA1c < 7.5% (<58 mmol/mol) and QTc prolongation, with an 8 year mortality of 92.1% as compared with 48.8% in those with HbA1c < 7.5% (<58 mmol/mol) but without QTc prolongation.

Conclusion/interpretations

HbA1c < 7.5% (<58 mmol/mol) in a high-risk population of patients with type 2 diabetes and foot ulcers is associated with a significantly higher mortality, particularly in patients with QTc prolongation.