Today is Diabetes Alert Day, and in recognition our post will review a recently published study on change in fasting glucose levels and subsequent risk of heart attack, stroke and all-cause mortality.
A reasearch group in Korea analyzed data from over 260,000 Korean adults enrolled in the Korean Health Insurance Service. These were adults over 40 years old, and with no diagnosis of diabetes or cardiovascular disease at time of enrollment in the study. The study included both men and women.
At initial enrollment, subjects were divided into two groups- a normal fasting glucose group (glucose <100 mg/dL) and an impaired fasting glucose group (glucose 100-125.9 mg/dL). Data such as smoking status, body mass index, blood pressure, physical activity level, total cholesterol, and alcohol consumption was also collected.
The subjects had a second examination in two years. At this second visit, any changes in fasting glucose between the two visits was noted. On average, these participants were then followed for up to eight years. Data on the number of heart attacks, strokes, and all-cause mortality were collected.
Researchers discovered that those participants who shifted from the normal fasting glucose group into diabetes (glucose >126 mg/dL) were associated with a much higher risk of stroke and all-cause mortality, compared to the participants who remained in the normal glucose group. In addition, those participants initially diagnosed with impaired fasting glucose who later moved into diabetes had a much higher risk of heart attack and all-cause mortality.
The statistics for diabetes are a cause for alarm- it is estimated that the total cost for diabetes in 2017 was $327 billion. About 84 million Americans are currently in the pre-diabetic category, with one of three adults age twenty and older now being pre-diabetic. Given the results of this very robust study, with over two million person-years of follow-up, serious consideration should be given to those interventions which help those who currently have normal or impaired glucose levels from progressing into diabetes.
“No one had ever told me junk food was bad for me. Four years of medical school, and four years of internship and residency, and I never thought anything was wrong with eating sweet rolls and doughnuts, and potatoes, and breads, and sweets.”– Robert Atkins
(Source- Cardiovascular Diabetology (2018) 17:51)
This blog is a review of published medical and scientific literature, and should only be used for informational purposes. It does not constitute medical or health advice, nor does it create a physician-patient relationship with anyone. Discuss any health concerns with your personal physician.