The Sooner Type 2 Diabetes Arrives, the Worse for Your Heart

A type 2 diabetes diagnosis that comes early in life carries a deadly load of health risks, new research shows.

It was associated with a 60 percent higher relative risk of dying from heart disease or stroke. Not only that, it was linked to almost a 30 percent higher risk of death from any cause, though a lower risk of dying from cancer was seen.

“Type 2 diabetes in young people is somewhat aggressive and leads to higher mortality,” said study co-author Dianna Magliano, head of the diabetes and population health laboratory at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, Australia.

The likely reason? Simply living longer with the blood sugar disease, and all of its complications, may be why.

Dr. Joel Zonszein, director of the Clinical Diabetes Center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, said “type 2 diabetes has evolved through the years into a different type of disease. It used to be a disease of the elderly.” He was not involved with the study.

“What we see nowadays with type 2 diabetes is that it’s affecting a younger population and is more aggressive. There’s more weight, more lipotoxicity, more insulin resistance and more inflammation, and inflammation can cause premature cardiovascular disease,” Zonszein said.

Lipotoxicity is when the fats in the blood (cholesterol) build up in places they shouldn’t, such as the liver, kidneys or heart.

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SOURCES: Dianna Magliano, Ph.D., head, diabetes and population health laboratory, Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, Australia; Joel Zonszein, M.D., director, Clinical Diabetes Center, Montefiore Medical Center, New York City; Feb. 22, 2018, Diabetologia

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