Background: The relationship between risk factor or biomarker trajectories and contemporaneous short-term clinical outcomes is poorly understood. In diabetes patients, it is unknown whether hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) trajectories are associated with clinical outcomes and can inform care in scenarios in which a single HbA1c is uninformative, for example, after a diagnosis of coronary artery disease (CAD). Objective: To compare associations of HbA1c trajectories and single HbA1c values with short-term mortality in diabetes patients evaluated for CAD Design: Retrospective observational cohort study Participants: Diabetes patients (n = 7780) with and without angiographically defined CAD Main Measures: We used joint latent class mixed models to simultaneously fit HbA1c trajectories and estimate association with 2-year mortality after cardiac catheterization, adjusting for clinical and demographic covariates. Key Results: Three HBA1c trajectory classes were identified: individuals with stable glycemia (class A; n = 6934 [89%]; mean baseline HbA1c 6.9%), with declining HbA1c (class B; n = 364 [4.7%]; mean baseline HbA1c 11.6%), and with increasing HbA1c (class C; n = 482 [6.2%]; mean baseline HbA1c 8.5%). HbA1c trajectory class was associated with adjusted 2-year mortality (3.0% [95% CI 2.8, 3.2] for class A, 3.1% [2.1, 4.2] for class B, and 4.2% [3.4, 4.9] for class C; global P = 0.047, P = 0.03 comparing classes A and C, P > 0.05 for other pairwise comparisons). Baseline HbA1c was not associated with 2-year mortality (P = 0.85; hazard ratios 1.01 [0.96, 1.06] and 1.02 [0.95, 1.10] for HbA1c 7–9% and ≥ 9%, respectively, relative to HbA1c < 7%). The association between HbA1c trajectories and mortality did not differ between those with and without CAD (interaction P = 0.1). Conclusions: In clinical settings where single HbA1c measurements provide limited information, HbA1c trajectories may help stratify risk of complications in diabetes patients. Joint latent class modeling provides a generalizable approach to examining relationships between biomarker trajectories and clinical outcomes in the era of near-universal adoption of electronic health records.
- cardiovascular disease
- hemoglobin A1c trajectory