OBJECTIVE—To compare recent trends in cardiovascular disease (CVD) outcomes among men and women with diabetes with those in the nondiabetic population.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—We conducted a retrospective cohort study using provincial health claims data to identify adults with (n = 670,602) and without (n = 9,190,721) diabetes living in Ontario, Canada, between 1 April 1992 and 31 March 2000. We compared changes in the annual age-/sex-adjusted rates and numbers of subjects admitted for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) and stroke and of deaths from AMI, stroke, and all causes between those with and without diabetes.
RESULTS—Over the 8-year period, the rate of patients admitted for AMI and stroke fell to a greater extent in the diabetic than the nondiabetic population (AMI: –15.1 vs. –9.1%, P < 0.0001; stroke: –24.2 vs. 19.4%, P < 0.0001). Diabetic patients experienced similar reductions in case-fatality rates related to AMI and stroke than those without diabetes (–44.1 vs. –33.2%, P = 0.1; –17.1 vs. –16.6%, P = 0.9, respectively). Declines in all-cause mortality were also comparable in the two populations. Over the same period, the number of diabetes cases increased from 405,471 to 670,602. Thus, while CVD rates fell, the number of events occurring in this population rose substantially (AMI: +44.6%, stroke: +26.1%, AMI deaths: +17.2%, and stroke deaths: +13.2%).
CONCLUSIONS—Our findings demonstrate a significant reduction in the rate of people affected by CVD within the diabetic population. However, as the number of people with diabetes rises, so may the absolute burden of CVD in our society.