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Type 2 diabetics can reduce cardiovascular disease risk

Raghu Kshitiz

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With proper treatment and not smoking, individuals with type 2 diabetes can significantly reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a new study in Sweden.

Individuals with type 2 diabetes have 10 times the risk for heart attack, heart failure and stroke, and five times the risk for premature death compared with the control group.

In a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, researchers at University of Gothenburg in Sweden said that the increased risks could be theoretically eliminated.

“The study shows that patients with type 2 diabetes with all risk factors within therapeutic target range had an extremely low risk of premature death, heart attack and stroke. This is definitely good news,” author Aidin Rawshani, a doctoral student at the Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, said in a press release.

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For the study, researchers analyzed data on 271,174 patients with type 2 diabetes registered in the Swedish National Diabetes Register from 1998-2014 and matched with 1.35 million controls on the basis of age, sex and county. In a median followup of 5.7 years, there were 175,345 deaths.

Risk factors that can be controlled by medication, and cigarette abstinence, are blood pressure, long-term blood glucose, lipid status, renal function and smoking, according to the researchers.

Smoking was the most important risk factor for premature death and an elevated blood glucose level was the most dangerous factor for heart attack and stroke.

“By optimizing these five risk factors, all of which can be influenced, you can come a long way,” Rawshani said adding, “We have shown that the risks can be greatly reduced, and in some cases may even be eliminated.”

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In some cases, patients with type 2 diabetes have no more than a 10 percent elevated risk of premature death, heart attack and stroke compared with the general population. The risk for heart failure is 45 percent higher among those with type 2 diabetes in those instances.

In addition, the risk of complications, especially heart failure, is greatest among those under 55 years.

“This makes it extra important to check and treat risk factors if you are younger with type 2 diabetes.” Rawshani added.

With Agency Inputs

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Sudden cardiac arrests are more likely to happen on any day at any time : Study

Raghu Kshitiz

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Representationa image

A new study has showed that sudden cardiac arrests are more likely to happen on any day at any time, challenging previous claims that weekday mornings — especially Mondays — were the danger zones.

Previously heart experts have long believed that weekday mornings were the danger zones for unexpected deaths from sudden cardiac arrests.

“While there are likely several reasons to explain why more cardiac arrests happen outside of previously identified peak times, stress is likely a major factor,” said Sumeet Chugh, a Professor of medicine from the Smidt Heart Institute in the US.

“We now live in a fast-paced, ‘always on’ era that causes increased psycho-social stress and possibly an increase in the likelihood of sudden cardiac arrest,” Chugh added.

Almost 17 million cardiac deaths occur annually worldwide while the survival rate from sudden cardiac arrest is less than one per cent.

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For the study, published in the journal Heart Rhythm, Chugh’s team analysed data on 1,535 from the community-based Oregon Sudden Unexpected Death Study between 2004 to 2014, among which only 13.9 per cent died in the early morning hours, the findings revealed.

All reported cases were based on emergency medical service reports containing detailed information regarding the cause of the cardiac arrest.

“Because sudden cardiac arrest is usually fatal, we have to prevent it before it strikes,” Chugh said. “Our next steps are to conclusively determine the underlying reasons behind this shift, then identify public health implications as a result,” he added.

Apart from stress, other contributing factors may be a shift in how high-risk patients are being treated, as well as inadequacies in how past studies have measured time of death caused by sudden cardiac arrest.

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