Diabetics and Non-Diabetics at Increased Risk
Lowering blood sugar levels could reduce the risk of coronary heart disease in both diabetics and non-diabetics, according to researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and other institutions. The researchers found that Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c)—a measure of long-term blood glucose level—predicts heart disease risk in both diabetics and non-diabetics. An elevated blood glucose level is the defining feature of diabetes, but until now it was unclear whether elevated glucose levels contributed independently to increasing heart-disease risk. The study is published in the September 12, 2005, issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.
“In persons with diabetes, we know that traditional cardiovascular risk factors, such as hypertension and high cholesterol, should be treated aggressively. Our results also suggest that improving blood-glucose control may further reduce heart disease risk,” said Elizabeth Selvin, PhD, MPH, lead author of the study and a postdoctoral fellow in the Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Department of Epidemiology. “For non-diabetics, lifestyle modifications, such as increased physical activity, weight loss and eating a healthful, low-glycemic, index diet rich in fiber, fruit and vegetables, may not only help prevent diabetes, but also reduce the risk of heart disease,” she said.
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