Impact of C-Peptide Preservation on Metabolic and Clinical Outcomes in the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial

  1. for the DCCT/EDIC Research Group
  1. 1The Biostatistics Center, The George Washington University, Rockville, MD
  2. 2Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
  3. 3Department of Medicine, DVA Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle, WA
  1. Corresponding author: John M. Lachin, jml{at}


The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial established that a stimulated C-peptide concentration ≥0.2 nmol/L at study entry among subjects with up to a 5-year diabetes duration is associated with favorable metabolic and clinical outcomes over the subsequent 7 years of follow-up. Herein we further examine the association of both fasting and stimulated C-peptide numerical values with outcomes. In the intensive treatment group, for a 50% higher stimulated C-peptide on entry, such as from 0.10 to 0.15 nmol/L, HbA1c decreased by 0.07% (0.8 mmol/mol; P = 0.0003), insulin dose decreased by 0.0276 units/kg/day (P < 0.0001), hypoglycemia risk decreased by 8.2% (P < 0.0001), and the risk of sustained retinopathy was reduced by 25% (P = 0.0010), all in unadjusted analyses. Other than HbA1c, these effects remained significant after adjusting for the HbA1c on entry. While C-peptide was not significantly associated with the incidence of nephropathy, it was strongly associated with the albumin excretion rate. The fasting C-peptide had weaker associations with outcomes. As C-peptide decreased to nonmeasurable concentrations, the outcomes changed in a nearly linear manner, with no threshold or breakpoint. While preservation of stimulated C-peptide at ≥0.2 nmol/L has clinically beneficial outcomes, so also does an increase in the concentration of C-peptide across the range of values.


  • Received June 5, 2013.
  • Accepted September 20, 2013.

Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered. See for details.

| Table of Contents

This Article

  1. Diabetes vol. 63 no. 2 739-748
  1. Supplementary Data
  2. All Versions of this Article:
    1. db13-0881v1
    2. 63/2/739 most recent