18 December 2014
Researchers from the University of Leicester have identified a link between low blood sugar and the risk of having heart problems, and death in diabetic patients.
Along with colleagues from Imperial College London and other institutions, the team confirmed an association between hypoglycaemia and an increased risk of cardiovascular events and mortality in insulin-treated patients with diabetes. This could help develop a new way of managing people with the condition.
Published online in the journal Diabetes Care, the researchers found that after experiencing hypoglycaemia, patients who took insulin for their diabetes had an 60 per cent higher risk of having heart problems. The study also found that they were between 2-2.5 times more likely to die over the same period as patients who did not experience hypoglycaemia.
Patients with the condition are at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease because of the due formation of atherosclerotic plaques in blood vessels, which is also a major cause of early death in these patients.
Melanie Davies, professor of Diabetes Medicine at the University of Leicester and honorary consultant at Leicester's Hospitals, said the data confirms the "significance of hypoglycaemia and the link with an increased risk of cardiovascular events, a risk that persists over a long time period".
Posted by Edward Bartel
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