School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences Faculty Publications and Presentations

Diabetes and Its Effect on Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Growth Rate in Hispanic Patients

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The growth rate of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) can vary depending on age, baseline diameter, blood pressure, race, and history of smoking. Paradoxically, previous studies show evidence of a protective effect of diabetes on the rate of AAA expansion despite its well-established role in the morbidity and mortality of cardiovascular disease. This study aims to investigate the impact diabetes plays on AAA growth within a Hispanic population.


Data were collected from patients who were predominantly Mexican-American at a single hospital site. Baseline and follow-up measures for AAA diameter were obtained from serial imaging studies. Demographics, medical history, the presence of type 2 diabetes, and medication use were extracted from hospital records. Linear mixed-effects growth models were used to calculate the overall AAA growth rate and to assess the difference in AAA growth rate between demographics, comorbidities, and medication use.


The study comprised 201 patients (70.4% male) with a mean baseline age of 79.1 years, of whom 43.2% were diabetic. The average monthly AAA growth rate across all study participants was 0.15 mm (SE = 0.02 mm). Independently, the average AAA expansion rate for the diabetic and nondiabetic groups was 0.07 mm (SE = 0.04 mm) and 0.21 mm (SE = 0.03 mm) per month, respectively. This demonstrates a 65% lower linear AAA expansion rate per month in patients with diabetes.


This study confirms a difference of AAA physiology between diabetics and nondiabetics in the Hispanic community. The observed significant difference in AAA growth rate may be a combination of factors associated with race/ethnicity, prevalence of diabetes mellitus, and low compliance with diabetic control exhibited in the Mexican-American population.

Publication Title

Annals of Vascular Surgery