Insulin therapy may reduce cardiovascular disease in diabetics

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2012-01-09 13:36

Diabetics are more susceptible to the development of atherosclerosis than non-diabetics. According to a new study, published in the February issue of The American Journal of Pathology, insulin therapy might help repair atherosclerotic lesions in diabetic patients. Researchers at the Hospital for Sick Children and the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto reported that insulin applied in therapeutic doses selectively stimulates the formation of new elastic fibers in cultures of human aortic smooth muscle cells.

The researchers noted that their results advance the understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms of diabetic vascular disease.

“Our results particularly endorse the use of insulin therapy for the treatment of atherosclerotic lesions in patients with type 1 diabetes, in which the induction of new elastic fibers would mechanically stabilize the developing plaques and prevent arterial occlusions,” explained lead investigator Aleksander Hinek, MD, PhD, DSc, Professor, Division of Cardiovascular Research at the hospital. Type 1 diabetes is also known as juvenile, or early onset, diabetes because it appears at a young age, sometimes in infancy. Type 2 diabetes appears in adults; obesity is commonly linked to type 2 diabetes.

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