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Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research article

Asymptomatic subjects with diabetes have a comparable risk of coronary artery disease to Non-diabetic subjects presenting chest pain: a 4-year community-based prospective study

Bo Kyung Koo12, Yun Gi Kim1, Kyong Soo Park1 and Min Kyong Moon12*

Author affiliations

1 Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, 39 Boramae Road, Seoul, Dongjak-Gu 156-707, South Korea

2 Department of Internal Medicine, Boramae Medical Center, Seoul, South Korea

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Citation and License

BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 2013, 13:87  doi:10.1186/1471-2261-13-87

Published: 18 October 2013



Although diabetes mellitus is an important risk factor of coronary artery disease (CAD), routine screening for CAD is not recommended for asymptomatic diabetic patients. We assessed the impact of chest pain on CAD risk according to the presence or absence of diabetes mellitus.


We investigated the future CAD event rate in subjects with and without chest pain according to the presence or absence of diabetes in a prospective large-scale community-based study in Korea.


Among 8,574 subjects (4,032 men and 4,542 women) without a history of CAD, 0.8% and 2.2% of non-diabetic and diabetic subjects, respectively, reported newly developed CAD events during 4 years of follow-up. Although the presence of chest pain at baseline was also significantly associated with an increased risk of CAD of more than 2-fold in both non-diabetic and diabetic subjects (P < 0.01), the risk of future CVD event in asymptomatic diabetic patients was not significantly different from that in non-diabetic subjects with chest pain (hazard ratio, 0.907; 95% confidence interval, 0.412 – 1.998).


The CAD event rate of asymptomatic subjects with diabetes was comparable to that of non-diabetic subjects reporting chest pain. Considering the high risk of CAD in asymptomatic diabetic patients, more clinical trials aimed at formulating strategies to screen asymptomatic diabetic subjects should be carried out.

Diabetes; Coronary artery disease; Chest pain