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An Unusual Thing We’ve Learned About Prediabetes – New Research

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Prediabetes occurs when blood glucose levels are higher than usual but not high enough for diabetes. Prediabetic individuals have an increased risk of developing full-blown diabetes.  

A new study presented today at ENDO 2022 suggests that prediabetes is a strong independent risk factor for heart attacks.

According to the study led by author Kavin Raj, M.D., of Saint Peter’s University Hospital/Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson, while diabetes is known to cause serious health conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, and kidney problems, the link between prediabetes and heart problems has not been well established.

The findings of the study “serves as a wake-up to everyone to shift the focus to managing prediabetes, not just diabetes,” said Raj, adding, “Based on our findings, we encourage everyone to make lifestyle changes, follow a healthy diet and regularly exercise for at least 150 minutes each week in patients with prediabetes to decrease the risk of heart attacks.”

The researchers looked at data from 1.79 million heart attack patients who were admitted to hospitals. Prediabetes was found in 1 percent of the patients.

After taking into account heart disease risk factors like age, gender, race, family history of heart attack, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, and obesity, people with prediabetes had a 25 percent higher chance of having a heart attack than people without prediabetes.

People with prediabetes were also 45 percent more likely to need percutaneous intervention, a heart treatment that opens up blocked blood vessels, and almost twice as likely to need heart bypass surgery.

The study highlights “the importance of early recognition by screening and early intervention of prediabetes by lifestyle changes and/or medications to decrease the risk of cardiovascular events,” Raj added.

Image Credit: Getty

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