Scientists conducting research in Denmark have discovered a correlation between diabetes and the risk of heart attacks, according to a report from Reuters.
In findings published last week it was detailed how diabetes patients have the same risk of having a heart attack as people who have already suffered one heart attack.
A five year study of over 3 million people in Denmark discovered that people with diabetes are 2.4 times more likely to die from cardiovascular disease than healthy people. The risk is the same as someone who has already suffered from one heart attack.
Dr Tina Ken Schramm was in charge of the research which was conducted at the Gentofte Hospital in Hellerup, Denmark. “The increased risk was observed in people at all ages with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes who were receiving insulin or other drugs to reduce levels of sugar in the blood,” she said.
Dr Schramm explained: “When people with diabetes do have heart attacks, they are twice as likely to die as non-diabetics.”
The research team was able to study almost every patient with diabetes in Denmark thanks to detailed national registries. They particularly focused on patients who were on medication to lower their glucose levels.
As a result of the research, Dr Schramm suggested that patients on such medication discuss with their doctors the risk of heart disease and even ask their health professionals about drugs to protect their heart.
“We’ve talked about ‘the lower, the better’ for cholesterol and blood pressure to reduce the risk of heart attack,” Schramm said in a statement. “Now I think we should be saying ‘the sooner, the better’ for primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases in diabetics.”