Type 2 Diabetes Protective Against Aortic Aneurysm, Dissection

Sonogram of an aortic dissection
Sonogram of an aortic dissection
Studies have not previously examined long-term risks or mortality after aortic aneurysm or dissection in people with type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) may be protective against mortality in aortic aneurysm and aortic dissection, according to research presented at the 53rd European Association for the Study of Diabetes Annual Meeting, held September 11-15, in Lisbon, Portugal.

Researchers with the Swedish National Diabetes Register in Gothenburg, Sweden, and Skåne University Hospital at Lund University in Malmö, Sweden, conducted a cohort study examining the prevalence of aortic aneurysm and aortic dissection in people with and without T2D between 1998 and 2015.

More than 448,000 people with T2D (n=448,319) were matched with population-based control subjects (n=2,251,015). People with T2D and control subjects were followed-up for a mean of 7 and 7.2 years, respectively.

The researchers identified 2878 cases of aortic aneurysm and 200 cases of aortic dissection in the T2D population; 16,740 cases of aortic aneurysm and 2020 cases of aortic dissection were noted in the control population. Relative risk reductions (RRR) were 28% and 47% (hazard ratio [HR]: 0.72; 95% CI, 0.68-0.77 and HR: 0.53; 95% CI, 0.42-0.66) for aortic aneurysm and dissection, respectively, in the T2D population. Similarly, people with T2D were more likely to survive an aortic aneurysm at 3 months, 1 year, and 2 years than those in the control group (adjusted survival rates: 84.2, 74.7, and 66.7 vs 80.9, 71.7, and 64.2). Survival rates for aortic dissection were “non-significantly higher among [people with T2D].”

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“[T]here were significantly decreased risks of [aortic aneurysm and aortic dissection] as well as decreased risk of mortality [in people with T2D],” the researchers concluded. “Data may suggest that glycated cross-links in aortic tissue may play a protective role in the progression of aortic diseases in [people with diabetes].”


Avdic T, Franzén S, Gottsäter A, et al. Long-term risk of aortic aneurysm and aortic dissection among individuals with type 2 diabetes: a nationwide observational study. Presented at: 53rd European Association for the Study of Diabetes Annual Meeting; September 11-15, 2017; Lisbon, Portugal. Abstract 84.