A new study found that diabetes patients increase their risk of heart failure and cardiac death by as much as six-fold regardless of their cholesterol levels. The research out of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that nearly 50 percent of people with diabetes in the study showed minute levels of a protein (troponin) that the body releases into the blood stream when heart cells die. Almost a quarter of all Americans over the age of 60 have diabetes.
Researchers hope that the test for the protein will eventually be used to screen for very early chronic heart damage. As things stand now, people newly diagnosed with diabetes are placed on a statin to lower their cholesterol but the study indicates that a diabetic’s heart risk may not be connected to cholesterol.
The study is yet another indication of reasons for older adults to take measures to prevent diabetes if they don’t already have it or to do everything they can to control the disease if they are diagnosed with it already. Here’s the article.