Prediabetes appears to be a strong independent risk factor for heart attacks, according to a new study presented Saturday, June 11 at ENDO 2022, the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting in Atlanta, Ga.
Prediabetes is a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered diabetes. People with prediabetes are more prone to develop diabetes. While diabetes is known to cause serious health conditions such as heart attacks, stroke and kidney problems, the link between prediabetes and heart problems has not been well established, according to study lead author Kavin Raj, M.D., of Saint Peter’s University Hospital/Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, N.J.
“Our study serves as a wake-up to everyone to shift the focus to managing prediabetes, not just diabetes,” Raj said. “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 analyzed data from 1.79 million hospitalizations of patients who had a heart attack. Of these patients, 1% had prediabetes. After adjusting for risk factors for heart disease including age, sex, race, family history of heart attack, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking and obesity, prediabetes was associated with 25% increased odds of a heart attack, compared with patients without prediabetes. Those with prediabetes also were at 45% increased odds for having percutaneous intervention (a heart treatment to open blocked blood vessels) and almost double the risk of having heart bypass surgery.
“Our findings reinforce 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 said.
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