Screening for left ventricular hypertrophy in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus in the community
Patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus are at greater cardiovascular risk than the general population. Although it is widely acknowledged that diabetes is a risk factor for coronary artery disease, the increased prevalence of potentially lethal left ventricular abnormalities in this population is less well appreciated. We carried out an echocardiographic study of 500 subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus to assess the prevalence of left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) and left ventricular systolic dysfunction (LVSD). We also assessed whether abnormalities in diastolic filling parameters were present. Of the 371 patients in whom left ventricular mass could be successfully assessed, 264 had LVH (71%). Left ventricular systolic dysfunction was much less common, being present in 16/385 patients (4.2%). Long axis contraction was abnormal in 29/429 patients (6.8%). Diastolic filling abnormalities were present in 178/435 (41%) of patients who could be classified using the selected criteria. We conclude that left ventricular abnormalities are common in type 2 diabetic patients. As medical therapy is available for both LVH and LVSD and has been demonstrated to reduce cardiovascular death, these left ventricular abnormalities could be ideal targets for screening, followed by selective therapeutic intervention.