A new Kaiser Permanete study released today reveal meeting the recommended guidelines for blood pressure and cholesterol prevail when it comes to reducing the risk for heart attack or stroke for those with diabetes.
In this new study researchers had examined medical records of 26,636 adult patients with diabetes listed in the Kaiser Permanente diabetes registry for Oregon and Washington. Researchers followed patients starting in 2002 and through 2010 or until death, left the health plan, or were hospitalized for cardiovascular events such as heart attack or stroke.
Patients who were included had to have measurements of blood pressure, cholesterol, and A1C( test that measures your average blood glucose control for the previous two to three months) no more than six months apart, and researchers used the mean of those measurements if they were taken several times throughout the study period.
A majority of previous studies have looked at one or two of the risk factors but never all three. This is the first time researchers have published results of a study examining the risk factors simultaneously, and reporting the individual contribution of each factor on diabetes-related heart disease.
Among the patients in the study, 13% met the targets of all three risk factors and had 2.5 times lower risk of being hospitalized for heart attack or stroke in comparison to those patient s who met none of the guidelines or only met the guidelines for blood sugar control, giving them a likelier chance of being hospitalized for a stroke or heart attack.
Dr. Greg Nichols, PhD, senior investigator with the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research and lead author of study stated in a news release "People with diabetes are often focused on controlling their blood sugar, but our study found that controlling blood pressure and cholesterol is even more important in preventing heart disease.” "This doesn't mean that people with diabetes should ignore their blood sugar levels. They should still get regular A1C tests to measure and control their blood glucose, but it's also important to pay attention to other factors that increase the risk for cardiovascular disease."
This study is published today in Journal of General Internal Medicine.
Other authors of this study include; Gregory A. Nichols, Ph.D., Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, Portland, Oregon.; and Sandra Joshua-Gotlib, MSPH, MBA, and Shreekant Parasuraman, PhD, from AstraZeneca LP, Wilmington, Delaware.
Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes
The following information is provided by the American Heart Association;
Heart disease and stroke are the number one cause of death and disability among people with type 2 diabetes. At least 65% of people with diabetes die from some form of heart disease or stroke.
Adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have heart disease or a stroke than adults without diabetes.
The American Heart Association considers diabetes to be one of the six major controllable risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
Diabetes information can be found online at the American Diabetes Association.