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New heart risk found for men with Type 2 diabetes

2012-03-26 13:53
Study highlights heart risks for men with Type 2 diabetes; taking insulin.

Type 2 diabetes is a known risk factor for heart disease. New findings presented at the American College of Cardiology 2012 Annual Scientific Session, March 24 to 26 in Chicago, show men with no history of heart disease who are being treated for diabetes with insulin are at higher risk for death and heart attack, even when comparing to non-diabetic men who already who already have heart disease. The finding is important for men dealing with diabetes who should be especially vigilant about exercise, cholesterol lowering and managing blood pressure, all of which can lower the chances of heart attack in the future.

40% higher heart risk for diabetic men

The finding comes from extracted from the global REACH Registry that is an ongoing impetus to explore known and new risk factors for heart disease among the general population.

Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital investigated the impact of diabetes on heart health and stroke risk among men and women, separating variables that included patient age, ethnicity, and other cardiovascular risk factors.

Compared to women, men with Type 2 diabetes were at higher risk for accelerated heart disease. Men taking insulin were 40% more likely than women to develop cardiovascular disease (CVD) and 70% more likely to have a first heart attack or die from CVD than men who have already had a cardiac event.

Men who were not taking insulin and those without diabetes but with existing heart disease had no higher risk, compared to women.

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Jacob Udell, MD, Cardiovascular Division, BWH Department of Medicine, and lead study investigator said in a media release, "Given that the number of patients diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes requiring insulin continues to increase, these patients require diligent cardiovascular risk factor management to potentially avoid a first cardiovascular event.”

The finding suggests men and women taking insulin for Type 2 diabetes have a higher risk of first heart attack or dying from heart disease, even when comparing to people who are already diagnosed with cardiovascular problems. Men are at especially high risk, compared to women.

The study highlights the importance for men taking insulin for diabetes to make sure you keep up with your cholesterol checks, speak with your doctor about an exercise program and take efforts to control blood pressure with medications and diet. If you’re not sure what your cholesterol numbers are, speak with your health care provider to understand ‘good’ and ‘bad’ cholesterol and what each number should be.

Source:
Brigham and Women's Hospital
March 25, 2012

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