Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

High Blood Sugar Levels A Risk Factor For Heart Disease

Date:
September 14, 2005
Source:
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
Summary:
An elevated blood glucose level is the defining feature of diabetes, but until now it was unclear whether elevated glucose levels contributed independently to increasing heart-disease risk. Lowering blood sugar levels could reduce the risk of coronary heart disease in both diabetics and non-diabetics, according to researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and other institutions.

Lowering blood sugar levels could reduce the risk of coronary heart disease in both diabetics and non-diabetics, according to researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and other institutions. The researchers found that Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c)—a measure of long-term blood glucose level—predicts heart disease risk in both diabetics and non-diabetics. An elevated blood glucose level is the defining feature of diabetes, but until now it was unclear whether elevated glucose levels contributed independently to increasing heart-disease risk. The study is published in the September 12, 2005, issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

“In persons with diabetes, we know that traditional cardiovascular risk factors, such as hypertension and high cholesterol, should be treated aggressively. Our results also suggest that improving blood-glucose control may further reduce heart disease risk,” said Elizabeth Selvin, PhD, MPH, lead author of the study and a postdoctoral fellow in the Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Department of Epidemiology. “For non-diabetics, lifestyle modifications, such as increased physical activity, weight loss and eating a healthful, low-glycemic, index diet rich in fiber, fruit and vegetables, may not only help prevent diabetes, but also reduce the risk of heart disease,” she said.

The researchers used data from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (ARIC), a community-based cohort of almost 16,000 people from four states—North Carolina, Mississippi, Maryland and Minnesota. HbA1c levels were taken from ARIC study participants during clinical examinations in 1990-1992. ARIC researchers tracked study participants for 10-12 years to acquire coronary heart disease events, hospitalizations and deaths.

In participants with diabetes, the researchers found a graded association between HbA1c and increasing coronary heart disease risk. Each 1-percentage-point increase in HbA1c level was associated with a 14 percent increase in heart disease risk. According to the study authors, the current target for “good” glycemic control established by the American Diabetes Association is an HbA1c value less than 7 percent. However, the researchers’ analyses suggest that heart disease risk begins to increase at values even below 7 percent.

They found that those study participants without diabetes but who had “high normal” HbA1c levels (approximately 5 percent to 6 percent) were at an increased heart disease risk, even after accounting for other factors such as age, cholesterol level, blood pressure, body mass index and smoking. Non-diabetic persons with HbA1c levels of 6 percent or higher had almost a two-fold greater heart disease risk compared to persons with an HbA1c level below 4.6 percent.

“There are large, on-going clinical trials which should definitively answer the question of the effectiveness of blood glucose-lowering medications in decreasing cardiovascular risk in persons with type-2 diabetes. But our results suggest we should also be concerned about elevated blood sugar levels in non-diabetics as well. An important next step is to investigate strategies for lowering HbA1c in persons without diabetes,” said Selvin.

The study authors were supported in part by grants from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Co-authors of the study are Elizabeth Selvin, Josef Coresh, Sherita H. Golden, Frederick L. Brancati, Aaron R. Folsom and Michael W. Steffes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. "High Blood Sugar Levels A Risk Factor For Heart Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 September 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050914105425.htm>.
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. (2005, September 14). High Blood Sugar Levels A Risk Factor For Heart Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050914105425.htm
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. "High Blood Sugar Levels A Risk Factor For Heart Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050914105425.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) A disease that has killed more than six million cave-dwelling bats in the United States is on the move and wildlife biologists are worried. White Nose Syndrome, discovered in New York in 2006, has now spread to 25 states. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) That little voice telling you to exercise, get in shape and get healthy is probably coming from your boss. More companies are beefing up wellness programs to try and cut down their health care costs. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) The Food and Drug Administration wants to crack down on the use of e-cigarettes, banning the sale of the product to minors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye'

Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye'

AP (Apr. 23, 2014) A legally blind Michigan man is 'seeing something new every day' thanks to a high-tech retinal implant procedure. He's one of the first in the country to receive a 'bionic eye' since the federal government approved the surgery. (April 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins