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Health News

Have Diabetes? Get These Risk Factors Under Control

by Wellness Letter  

People with diabetes have high rates of cardiovascular disease, but not if they have five risk factors under control, according to a Swedish study in the New England Journal of Medicine in August 2018.

The study involved 271,000 people (average age 61) with type 2 diabetes who were followed for six years. The five factors were elevated hemoglobin A1c (indicating poor long-term blood sugar control), smoking, elevated LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, high blood pressure, and albuminuria (a urinary marker of kidney disease).

Participants who didn’t smoke and had all four other factors under control had little or no increased risk for heart attacks, stroke, or premature death compared to the general population. Each controlled risk factor, by itself, was beneficial.

Poor blood sugar control was the biggest factor for heart attacks and strokes, while smoking was the key factor for premature death.

This article first appeared in the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter.

Also see 10 Key Dietary Factors for Heart Disease and Diabetes.