To examine whether a potential marker for type 2 diabetes (family history) is related to CAD in type 1 diabetic subjects. The two major types of primary diabetes, type 1 and type 2, are both associated with an increased risk of developing coronary artery disease (CAD). However, the etiology and associated risk factors may differ by type of diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, CAD is likely to be linked with the insulin resistance associated with the type 2 “process,” while CAD in type 1 diabetes has, so far, been more closely linked to renal disease. Because the etiologies of type 1 and type 2 diabetes are different, it is possible that some CAD in type 1 diabetes may be related to the coexistence of type 2 diabetes susceptibility (i.e., insulin resistance).


We evaluated the interrelationships between family history of type 2 diabetes (age at onset >30 years, no insulin for 1st year) and presence of CAD in a cohort of childhood-onset type 1 diabetic subjects using the Pittsburgh Epidemiology of Diabetes Complications study (n = 658).


A first-degree family history of type 2 diabetes was reported in 112 subjects, and CAD was present in 119 subjects. Those subjects reporting a family history of type 2 diabetes were significantly older, had a longer duration of type 1 diabetes, had higher triglyceride and LDL cholesterol levels, and had a borderline significantly increased Beck depression inventory. Sex differences in CAD risk factors were also noted. Using logistic regression analysis, the odds ratio (95% CI) for the presence of CAD in association with a family history of NIDDM was 1.89 (1.27–2.84). The odds ratio (95% CI) after adjusting for disease duration, triglycerides, hypertension, Beck depression, and nephropathy status was 1.45 (0.87–2.28).


We conclude that a family history of type 2 diabetes is a risk factor for CAD in type 1 diabetic subjects. This supports the concept that insulin resistance may contribute to development of CAD in type 1 diabetes.

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