OBJECTIVES: We sought to determine the relative impact of diabetes mellitus on prognosis in ischemic compared with nonischemic cardiomyopathy. BACKGROUND: Ischemic myocardium is characterized by increased reliance on aerobic and anaerobic glycolysis. Because glucose utilization by cardiomyocytes is an insulin-mediated process, we hypothesized that diabetes would have a more adverse impact on mortality and progression of heart failure in ischemic compared with nonischemic cardiomyopathy. METHODS: We performed a retrospective analysis of the Studies Of Left Ventricular Dysfunction (SOLVD) Prevention and Treatment trials. RESULTS: In adjusted analyses, diabetes mellitus was strongly associated with an increased risk for all-cause mortality in patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy, (relative risk [RR] 1.37, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.21 to 1.55; p < 0.0001), but not in those with nonischemic cardiomyopathy (RR 0.98, 95% CI 0.76 to 1.32; p = 0.98). The increased mortality in patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy compared with nonischemic cardiomyopathy was limited to those with ischemic cardiomyopathy and diabetes mellitus (RR 1.37, 95% CI 1.21 to 1.56; p < 0.0001). When patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy and diabetes mellitus were excluded, there was no significant difference in mortality risk between the ischemic and nonischemic cardiomyopathy groups after adjusted analysis (RR 0.99, 95% CI 0.86 to 1.15; p = 0.99). Previous surgical revascularization identified patients within the cohort with ischemic cardiomyopathy and diabetes mellitus, with improved prognosis. CONCLUSIONS: The differential impact of diabetes on mortality and heart failure progression according to the etiology of heart failure suggests that diabetes and ischemic heart disease interact to accelerate the progression of myocardial dysfunction. Evaluation of the potential for revascularization may be particularly important in patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy and diabetes mellitus.
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