Men on insulin have an increased risk of heart trouble

Men with diabetes taking insulin had a 70 per cent increased risk for a first cardiovascular event compared to men with a known history of cardiovascular disease

Diabetes rarely comes alone. It usually opens the door for other diseases to sneak in, especially if it is left uncontrolled. A recent research by Brigham and Women's Hospital [BWH] has found that men with type-2 diabetes but without a history of cardiovascular disease [CVD] are at a greater risk of major cardiovascular events [e.g., death, heart attack, stroke] compared with men who had a history of CVD.

Using data from the global REACH Registry, the researchers found that among the 64,000 eligible REACH patients, the four-year risk of major cardiovascular events [death, heart attack or stroke] increased incrementally in patients with diabetes treated with diet only, oral diabetes medications or insulin.

The researchers concluded that men with diabetes taking insulin had a 70 per cent increased risk for a first cardiovascular event compared to men with a known history of CVD having a recurrent event.

In addition, men with diabetes taking insulin were at a 40 per cent higher risk than women. No gender-specific differences were found among diabetics not taking insulin and diabetics with cardiovascular history.

"Given that the number of patients diagnosed with type-2 diabetes requiring insulin continues to increase, these patients require diligent cardiovascular risk factor management to potentially avoid a first cardiovascular event," said Jacob Udell, MD, Cardiovascular Division, BWH Department of Medicine, and lead study investigator.

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