Type 2 diabetes need not mean a higher risk of heart attack or stroke

In a new study, Swedish researchers compared risk factors in 271,000 people with diabetes and 1,356,000 without the disease.

The researchers looked at five risk factors for heart attack and stroke:

  • blood sugar: hemoglobin A1c of at least 7 percent,
  • LDL (“bad”) cholesterol: 100 mg/dL or more,
  • blood pressure: at least 140 mmHg systolic or 80 mmHg diastolic,
  • albumin in the urine (a marker of kidney disease), and
  • whether the person smokes.

During the 5½-year study, people who had diabetes but none of those risk factors were no more likely to die or have a heart attack or stroke than those without diabetes. However, they still had a 45 percent higher risk of heart failure.

Smoking had the most impact on the risk of dying. High blood sugar had the most impact on the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

What to do

If you've got diabetes, lower your risk factors for stroke and heart attacks with diet and, if necessary, drugs.

Photo: Monkey Business/stock.adobe.com.