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30-05-2011 | Diabetes | Article

CHD risk in diabetes patients has decreased over past decade


Free abstract

MedWire News: Research shows that improvements in glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), lipids, and blood pressure have significantly lowered the 10-year risk for coronary heart disease (CHD) in patients with Type 2 diabetes.

"Sustained efforts in improving risk factors should further benefit the cardiovascular health of people with diabetes," says study author Earl Ford from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, in the USA.

Ford analyzed data from 1977 adults with Type 2 diabetes, aged 30-79 years, who took part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 1999-2000 and in 2007-2008.

Estimated 10-year risk for CHD was calculated using the UK Prospective Diabetes Study algorithm.

Ford found that the risk decreased significantly during the period from an average of 21.1% in 1999-2000 to 16.4% in 2007-2008.

He explains that this is likely to be due to significant improvements in mean HbA1c (7.2% vs 7.9% in 1999-2000), total-to-high density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio (4.3 vs 5.0 in 1999-2000), and systolic blood pressure (128.9 vs 133.7 mmHg in 1999-2000) in the cohort over the same time period.

He also notes that the decrease in CHD risk was significant in men, women, White-, African-, and Mexican-Americans alike.

"Sustained efforts in targeting these three risk factors as well as an additional focus on reducing smoking in the diabetic population should further benefit the cardiovascular health of people with diabetes," writes Ford in the journal Diabetes Care.

"Future monitoring will be essential to determine whether this possible interruption in the trend is a temporary phenomenon that may represent sampling variation or represents a real change in the direction of the trend," he concludes.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2011

By Helen Albert