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08 Oct 2012
People with Type 1 diabetes have twice the risk of heart-related complications
People with Type 1 diabetes are more likely to have cardiovascular disease such as heart attacks and strokes, a study conducted in Scotland has shown. They also have a higher risk of dying prematurely from any cause. Controlling blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol can help reduce these risks.
Strategies employed to improve blood glucose control, which in turn help reduce associated complications, are working, but there is room for improvement, according to the study, which is published in this weeks PLOS medicine.
The researchers, led by Helen Colhoun from the University of Dundee, based their study on information from Scottish national databases covering 2005 to 2008, and representing over 20,000 patients. They found that people with Type 1 diabetes had a two- to three-times greater risk of heart attacks, strokes, or premature death than the general population.
They also found the increased risk to be higher in women than men, with men and women with Type 1 diabetes showing a 2.5 and 3.2 times higher risk of experiencing cardiovascular disease, respectively, compared to the general Scottish population.
Additionally, people with Type 1 diabetes have a higher death rate resulting from any cause, compared to the general Scottish population: in men the risk is 2.6 times higher, and in women it is 2.7 times higher.
Worryingly, the authors also found that the majority of patients in this Scottish dataset had poorly controlled blood glucose levels, with only 13% having HbA1c levels (a test that measures blood glucose control over the previous three months) within the recommended range.
For more on this see the Diabetes UK website.