Aims/hypothesis End-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients with diabetes have been regarded as being at the highest risk of cardiovascular disease. We therefore investigated the relationship between diabetes and the incidence of peripheral artery disease (PAD) in new haemodialysis patients. Methods We enrolled 1,513 ESRD patients who had just begun haemodialysis therapy. They were divided into two groups: those with (n0739) and those without diabetes (n0774). The endpoint was the development of PAD, defined as ankle brachial pressure index ≤ 0.9 or toe brachial pressure index < 0.7 in patients with an ankle brachial pressure index > 0.9. Results According to the Kaplan-Meier method, the 10 year event-free rate for development of PAD and lower limb amputation was significantly lower in the diabetes group than in the non-diabetes group (60.3% vs 82.8%, HR 2.99, 95% CI 2.27, 3.92, p< 0.0001 and 93.9% vs 98.9%, HR 5.59, 95% CI 2.14, 14.7, p00.0005 for PAD and lower limb amputation, respectively). In patients with diabetes, quartile analysis of HbA 1c levels showed that the highest quartile group (≥ 6.8% [51 mmol/mol]) had significant development of PAD and lower limb amputation compared with lower quartile groups (PAD HR 1.63, 95% CI 1.17, 2.28, p00.0038; lower limb amputation HR 2.99, 95% CI 1.17, 7.70, p00.023). Conclusions/interpretation Diabetes was a strong predictor of PAD after initiation of haemodialysis therapy in patients with ESRD. In addition, higher HbA 1c levels were associated with increased risk of developing PAD and requiring limb amputation in such diabetic populations.
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