Increased aortic stiffness in women with type 1 diabetes mellitus is associated with diabetes duration and autonomic nerve function

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


AIMS: The increase in risk for cardiovascular complications in diabetic women is even greater than that in diabetic men. We found arterial stiffness to be increased in women, but not in men, with Type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM). The aims of the present study were to evaluate whether the changes in arterial distensibility are influenced by diabetes duration and to evaluate any association between autonomic neuropathy and decreased arterial distensibility. METHODS: Stiffness of the abdominal aorta was measured noninvasively using echo-tracking sonography and parasympathetic function by heart rate variation during deep breathing (E/I ratio) in 40 women (mean age 33 years, range 20-61) and 38 men (mean age 36 years, range 22-56) with Type 1 DM. RESULTS: There was a significant correlation between aortic stiffness and duration of diabetes in women (r = 0.41, P = 0.008), but not in men (r = 0.15, P = 0.35). There was also a significant correlation between aortic stiffness and the E/I ratio in women (r = -0.49, P = 0.002), but not in men (r = -0.14, P = 0.41). When adjusted for diabetes duration, the significant association between the E/I ratio and aortic stiffness remained in diabetic women (r = -0.44, P = 0.008) and was stronger than the association between diabetes duration and aortic stiffness. There were no significant correlations between aortic stiffness and triglycerides or total cholesterol, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Increased aortic wall stiffness found in women with Type 1 DM is related to diabetes duration. Further, in women with Type 1 DM there is a correlation between increased aortic stiffness and parasympathetic dysfunction. This may be of importance for the increased susceptibility to cardiovascular complications in diabetic women.


External organisations
  • Skåne University Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Endocrinology and Diabetes
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-297
JournalDiabetic Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Diabetes Epidemiology and Neuropathy (013241560), Clinical Physiology and Nuclear Medicine Unit (013242320), Emergency medicine/Medicine/Surgery (013240200)