Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Lower Number Of Heart Disease And Stroke Linked To Diabetes

Diabetes is disease in which a person’s blood sugar level is higher than normal. In general, there are 2 main types of diabetes, namely Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes.

Type-1 diabetes results from the body’s failure to produce sufficient insulin or the cells of the body are not responding properly to the insulin produced, while Type-2 diabetes develops because of insulin resistance, a condition in which cells fail to respond to insulin properly. Type-2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes and its main cause is excessive body weight and sedentary lifestyle.

Roughly 1 in 10 adult In the United States has diabetes, which is the 7th leading cause of death, as indicated by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In Singapore, every 1 out of 9 people aged between 18 and 69 is diabetic.

If not managed well, diabetes can lead to serious medical complications including blindness, nerve damage, kidney failure, heart disease, stroke, and limb amputation. Studies show that about 50 percent of patients already have diabetes-related complications at the time of diagnosis.

Recently, a CDC funded study revealed that heart attacks, stroke and other complications from diabetes are declining over the last 2 decades. Their findings showed that the rates of heart attacks and strokes among diabetics fell by more than 60 percent, so did the drastic declines in diabetes kidney failure and amputations. The improvements were noted even though the number of American adults with diabetes more than tripled in those 2 decades.

How did this happen? A group of researchers including those from the University of North Carolina attributed the drop to better screening, medicines and care. The results were published on April 17, 2014 in the ‘New England Journal of Medicine’.

In the study, CDC looked at the complication rates from 1990 to 2010 for diabetics aged 20 and older. Hospital records indicated that during the 20 years, the heart attack rate fell 68 percent, from 141 to 45.5 per 10,000 diabetics. The actual number hospitalized with heart attacks dropped from more than 140,000 to about 136,000. For stroke, the rate fell less dramatically, at 53 per 10,000 diabetics. Amputation rates also fell by more than half but like strokes, the actual number increased over the 2 decades.

Kidney failure also dropped by 28 percent with the rate in those 65 and older actually increased. The researchers suspected that this could be because diabetics are living longer enough to get kidney disease.

The study also examined a less common complication, the rate of mortality, which dropped by 64 percent and the numbers also declined by 18 percent. In 2010, those deaths totaled 2,361.

Nevertheless, the researchers cautioned that a large burden of disease still persists as a result of the continued rise in the prevalence of diabetes.

No comments:

Post a Comment