Sunday, July 02, 2006

Young Type 2 Diabetics at Higher Stroke Risk

The increasing incidence of type 2 diabetes could bring a rise in death and disability caused by stroke, new research warns.
Stroke risk in people newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is double that of the general population, and those under age 55 are at greatest risk, according to two studies to be presented Thursday at the American Stroke Association's annual stroke conference, in Kissimmee, Fla.
One Canadian study of more than 12,000 newly diagnosed type 2 diabetics found that, "in the first five years, more than 9 percent were admitted to the hospital for stroke," according to lead researcher Dr. Thomas Jeerakathil, an assistant professor of neurology and medicine at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta.
What's not known, because it was beyond the scope of this study, is whether those who experienced stroke were even less likely to keep risk factors such as diabetes or blood pressure under control.
The new findings add much to what experts knew -- or didn't know -- about diabetes and its relation to stroke, Jeerakathil said.
"The usual thought is that complications don't develop for several years," he said. "We were interested in looking at the risk soon after diagnosis. Most of the studies that have looked at this in the past have looked at risk of stroke after five, 10 or more years."
His team used health records from the Canadian province of Saskatchewan to track the stroke incidence of more than 12,000 people with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes.
The researchers found that the risk of stroke over a follow-up of about five years was double for the new diabetics vs. that of the general population.
The finding "argues for very aggressive cardiovascular risk factor control," Jeerakathil said. He advises diabetics to "pay attention to cholesterol and blood pressure, stop smoking, lead an active lifestyle and eat a diet high in whole grains and vegetables."
Right after a type 2 diabetes diagnosis, "I think people tend to think they can relax, that complications are far in the future," Jeerakathil said. "In fact, there is a real risk even in the first few years after being diagnosed of having a stroke."
More information
Learn more about preventing type 2 diabetes at the American Diabetes Association.
THURSDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News)

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