Rapid loss of estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) within its normal range has been proposed as a strong predictor of future kidney disease. We investigated this association of eGFR slope early in the course of type 1 diabetes with long-term incidence of kidney and cardiovascular complications.


The annual percentage change in eGFR (slope) was calculated during the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) for each of 1,441 participants over a mean of 6.5 years and dichotomized by the presence or absence of early rapid eGFR loss (slope ≤−3% per year) as the exposure of interest. Outcomes were incident reduced eGFR (eGFR <60 mL/min/1.73 m2), composite cardiovascular events, or major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE) during the subsequent 24 years post-DCCT closeout follow-up.


At DCCT closeout (the baseline for this analysis), diabetes duration was 12 ± 4.8 years, most participants (85.9%) had normoalbuminuria, mean eGFR was 117.0 ± 13.4 mL/min/1.73 m2, and 149 (10.4%) had experienced early rapid eGFR loss over the preceding trial phase. Over the 24-year subsequent follow-up, there were 187 reduced eGFR (6.3 per 1,000 person-years) and 113 MACE (3.6 per 1,000 person-years) events. Early rapid eGFR loss was associated with risk of reduced eGFR (hazard ratio [HR] 1.81, 95% CI 1.18–2.79, P = 0.0064), but not after adjustment for baseline eGFR level (HR 0.94, 95% CI 0.53–1.66, P = 0.84). There was no association with composite cardiovascular events or MACE.


In people with type 1 diabetes primarily with normal eGFR and normoalbuminuria, the preceding slope of eGFR confers no additional association with kidney or cardiovascular outcomes beyond knowledge of an individual’s current level.

B.A.P. and I.B. contributed equally as primary authors.

Clinical trial reg. nos. NCT00360893 and NCT00360815, clinicaltrials.gov

This article contains supplementary material online at https://doi.org/10.2337/figshare.17076314.


A complete list of members in the DCCT/EDIC Research Group is presented in the supplementary material published online for the article in N Engl J Med 2017;376:1507–1516.

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