Diabetes Doubles Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke


The serious consequences of diabetes can never be emphasized enough, and now a new Lancet study highlights some of those concerns again. People who have diabetes have approximately twice the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, such as heart attack and stroke.

The new findings, which are being presented at the American Diabetes Association’s 70th Scientific Sessions in Orlando, Florida, were the result of an analysis of 700,000 people from 25 countries who were monitored for about 10 years in 102 surveys. Diabetes is now estimated to cause 10 percent of deaths from cardiovascular disease.

According to Dr. Victoria King, research manager for Diabetes UK, “this study confirms diabetes more than doubled the risk of developing life-threatening cardiovascular conditions including stroke and heart disease.” Diabetes UK, the largest organization in the United Kingdom that works for diabetes, funds research, and helps people with the disease, conducted the study.


Results of this study highlight “how vital it is to reduce the number of people developing type 2 diabetes in the first place,” according to the authors. To accomplish such a reduction, lifestyle changes must be embraced by the public, including an improvement in diet, engaging in at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day, and maintaining a healthy weight. For those who already have diabetes, these steps are critical as well, along with better treatments.

The American Diabetes Association reports that 23.6 million people in the United States have diabetes: 17.9 diagnosed and 5.7 million undiagnosed. Another 57 million have pre-diabetes, which research shows progresses to full-blown diabetes at a rate of about 11 percent per year. About 1.6 million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed in people aged 20 years and older each year.

In the United Kingdom, the numbers are comparable per population: 2.6 million people have diabetes, and it is estimated there will be an additional 4 million by 2025. Today, heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular conditions are the main cause of death in the world. The fact that diabetes doubles the risk of these diseases is a clear call for action.

American Diabetes Association
Diabetes UK