Cardiac autonomic neuropathy predicts renal function decline in patients with type 2 diabetes: a cohort study

Abd A. Tahrani, Kiran Dubb, Neil T. Raymond, Safia Begum, Quratul A. Altaf, Hamed Sadiqi, Milan K. Piya, Martin J. Stevens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims/hypothesisThe aim of this work was to assess the impact of cardiac autonomic neuropathy (CAN) on the development and progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in patients with type 2 diabetes.MethodsWe conducted a cohort study in adults with type 2 diabetes. Patients with end-stage renal disease were excluded. CKD was defined as the presence of albuminuria (albumin/creatinine ratio GFR > 3.4 mg/mmol) or an estimated (eGFR) < 60 ml min−1 1.73 m−2. CKD progression was based on repeated eGFR measurements and/or the development of albuminuria. CAN was assessed using heart rate variability.ResultsTwo hundred and four patients were included in the analysis. At baseline, the prevalence of CKD and CAN was 40% and 42%, respectively. Patients with CAN had lower eGFR and higher prevalence of albuminuria and CKD. Spectral analysis variables were independently associated with eGFR, albuminuria and CKD at baseline. After a follow-up of 2.5 years, eGFR declined to a greater extent in patients with CAN than in those without CAN (−9.0 ± 17.8% vs −3.3 ± 10.3%, p = 0.009). After adjustment for baseline eGFR and baseline differences, CAN remained an independent predictor of eGFR decline over the follow-up period (β = −3.5, p = 0.03). Spectral analysis variables were also independent predictors of eGFR decline.Conclusions/interpretationCAN was independently associated with CKD, albuminuria and eGFR in patients with type 2 diabetes. In addition, CAN was an independent predictor of the decline in eGFR over the follow-up period. CAN could be used to identify patients with type 2 diabetes who are at increased risk of rapid decline in eGFR, so that preventative therapies might be intensified.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1249-1256
Number of pages8
Early online date13 Mar 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014


  • Albuminuria
  • Autonomic neuropathy
  • Cohort study
  • Diabetic nephropathy
  • Estimated glomerular filtration rate
  • Macroalbuminuria
  • Microalbuminuria
  • Type 2 diabetes


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