Aims/Introduction: Diabetes mellitus is a major risk factor for the development of cardiovascular diseases. Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction is characterized by left ventricular diastolic dysfunction (LVDD). It has been reported that excess cortisol found in patients with Cushing's syndrome was associated with the development of LVDD. However, the relationship between cortisol concentration and LVDD in patients with diabetes mellitus has not been addressed. Materials and Methods: We enrolled 109 patients with diabetes mellitus and 104 patients without diabetes mellitus who had undergone echocardiographic examination at Kyushu University Hospital, Fukuoka, Japan, between November 2016 and March 2019. Left ventricular function was evaluated and the ratio of early diastolic velocity from transmitral inflow to early diastolic velocity (E/eʹ) was used as an index of diastolic function. Plasma cortisol concentrations, glycemic control, lipid profiles, treatment with antidiabetic drugs and other clinical characteristics were evaluated, and their associations with E/eʹ were determined using univariate and multivariate analyses. Results: Multivariate linear regression analysis showed that log E/eʹ was positively correlated with age (P = 0.017), log systolic blood pressure (P = 0.004) and cortisol (P = 0.037), and negatively correlated with estimated glomerular filtration rate (P = 0.016) and the use of sodium–glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors (P = 0.042) in patients with diabetes mellitus. Multivariate analysis showed that cortisol was positively correlated with age (P = 0.016) and glycated hemoglobin (P = 0.011). There was no association between E/eʹ and cortisol in patients without diabetes mellitus. Conclusions: Increased cortisol levels might increase the risk of developing LVDD in diabetes mellitus patients.
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