As diabetes is a leading cause of death in the world, there are thousands of people suffering from it who are also at risk of developing it, according to new research.
The Royal College of Cardiology said the UK should consider creating a National Diabetes Monitoring Program and setting up a diabetes research fund to study the link between diabetes and heart disease.
The study, published in the Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal, analysed the links between diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and heart attack in 2,000 people.
It found that people with diabetes who also have hypertension or a high blood pressure were four times more likely to develop diabetes.
Researchers found that those who had diabetes were more than twice as likely to have hypertension.
They also found that having diabetes increases the risk of heart attack.
The authors concluded that a national diabetes monitoring program was needed.
“The UK should be aiming to track and monitor people with type 2 diabetes, and consider creating such a program to help identify those with type 1 diabetes and to prevent them from developing type 2,” Dr Robert Maudsley, a cardiologist and chair of the research team, told the Irish Times.
Dr Maud’s team found that diabetes increased the risk for stroke, heart attack, coronary heart disease and death from any cause, as well as for the heart attack itself.
“There is no question that hypertension is a risk factor for stroke and cardiovascular disease, and we know from observational studies that hypertension can increase stroke risk,” he said.
“We know that people who are at high risk of cardiovascular disease have a higher risk of diabetes, but it seems to be a stronger link than hypertension.”
Dr Maux said that the data was from the UK and other countries, but added that the research should be considered in other countries.
“If the UK is looking at a national plan, then we should consider a national program to track diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, to better understand the mechanisms involved, and to try to reduce or stop the progression of diabetes.”
Dr Paul Maud, a GP in Dundalk, said that he was concerned about the risk to patients with diabetes from increased heart attack risk.
“It is an obvious risk factor,” he told the paper.
“But I think it is very difficult to separate what is happening in the laboratory from what is going on in the body.”
He added that a number of studies had shown that people on drugs that increase blood sugar and blood pressure had a higher chance of developing heart attacks.
“I think there is a real risk that if we do nothing about this we will have a massive increase in heart attack,” he added.
“These are people who may be suffering from heart failure.”
Dr Mike McCrea, an orthopaedic surgeon at St Michael’s Hospital in Dundashire, said it was important to remember that the heart attacks in people with high blood sugar are due to an overactive immune system.
“That is the immune system responding to certain triggers.
We need to recognise that it’s not always the people who have diabetes that are at risk, but the people with the higher risk,” Dr McCrea said.
Dr McCrea added that diabetes is an increasing problem in the developing world and that the country could be making the problem worse by not taking steps to prevent diabetes in its people.
“Diabetes is a growing problem and if we are not tackling this we are increasing the risks to people with hypertension, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases,” he explained.
“For example, in the US, hypertension and heart attacks are three of the leading causes of death.”
Dr McCresca said the study had highlighted the importance of diabetes prevention in the NHS.
“A major reason for the obesity epidemic is the lack of adequate access to diabetes care in the healthcare system.
I’m afraid this is one of the biggest impediments to a more just and equitable healthcare system in the country,” he commented.”
What we need is a national policy to tackle the rising diabetes burden in the people of the UK.”
Dr John McNeilly, director of diabetes research at the Royal College, said diabetes was a major contributor to heart disease in the developed world.
“Research shows that diabetes, which causes a higher percentage of diabetes-related deaths, is also a risk for all-cause mortality,” he stated.
“People living with diabetes are also more likely than other populations to suffer from heart disease, stroke, and other types of cardiovascular diseases.”
Dr McNeill added that it was vital that the UK took action to tackle diabetes.
“While the majority of people with Type 2 diabetes are likely to die from heart attack alone, there is evidence that diabetes can also contribute to heart attack and stroke,” he noted.
“This study has shown that diabetes-associated mortality is highest in people who smoke or drink alcohol.”
In addition, we know that when people with higher blood sugar levels have diabetes they have an increased risk of coronary heart diseases, stroke or heart attack.
“Dr McDermott, an infectious diseases specialist at St