Diabetes joins list of heart disease risk factors
According to the American Diabetes Association, half the people with type 2 diabetes have significant heart disease
September 2, 1999
Web posted at: 2:10 p.m. EDT (1810 GMT)
From Correspondent Holly Firfer
ATLANTA (CNN) -- Smoking, high cholesterol and high blood
pressure already are considered major contributors to cardiovascular
disease, the No. 1 killer in the United States. Now the
American Heart Association, based on convincing evidence, has
added diabetes to the list of controllable risk factors for
heart disease and strokes.
Fifty percent of people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes have
significant cardiovascular disease at the time of diagnosis.
And 80 percent of diabetic deaths are due to cardiovascular
Betty Morgan, who has suffered from diabetes for eight years,
knows firsthand the devastating effects of the disease. She
took care of her health and monitored her disease but wasn't
prepared for what happened two years ago when she woke in
the middle of the night.
"I really had a strange feeling. I felt like my skin on my
face was separating from the rest of my body," she said.
Morgan called her doctor, was sent to the hospital and had
triple bypass surgery the next day.
Nearly 16 million people with type 2 or "older onset"
diabetes may face heart problems. Doctors predict the number
will grow as people exercise less and become more obese, and as a
large percentage of the population ages, including many
minorities that have a higher risk of developing the disease.
In type 1 or "juvenile" diabetes, the body does not make any
insulin at all. It occurs most often in children and young
adults. In type 2, which represents nine out of 10 cases of
the disease, the body does not respond properly to the
insulin it produces. It occurs most often in people 45 or
Health researchers are focusing their efforts on the link
between diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The National
Heart, Lung and Blood Institute is starting a large clinical
trial to study high blood sugar, high cholesterol and
hypertension, all possible symptoms of diabetes and risk
factors for heart disease.
"What I think we will probably find in the short run is that
more intensive therapy with multiple drugs will lead to
substantial reduction of cardiovascular complications," the
institute's Dr. Peter Savage said.
Cause of type-I diabetes found, researchers say
August 30, 1999
Diabetics often decide to drive when blood-sugar dangerously low
August 24, 1999
Device may mean the end of painful pricks for diabetics
June 22, 1999
Insulin inhaler may replace injections
May 7, 1999
Type 2 diabetes on the rise in children
April 8, 1999
American Diabetes Association
American Heart Association
Diabetes Action Research and Education Foundation
Doctor's Guide to the Internet: Diabetes Information and Resources
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.
LATEST HEALTH STORIES:
China SARS numbers pass 5,000
Report: Form of HIV in humans by 1940
Fewer infections for back-sleeping babies
Pneumonia vaccine may help heart, too