AHA Information: Reversing Prediabetes Linked to Fewer Coronary heart Assaults, Strokes – Shopper Well being Information


TUESDAY, Jan. 26, 2021 (American Heart Association News) – People who reverse their prediabetes may lower their risk of heart attack, stroke, and death, according to a new study.

In prediabetes, a person has blood sugar levels that are higher than normal but lower than the threshold for a diagnosis of diabetes. Even so, studies have shown that people with prediabetes are more likely to have a heart attack or stroke.

Prediabetes can be reversed, and smaller studies suggest that doing so lowers the risk of heart disease. However, the authors of the new work, published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Heart Association, said that little research has investigated whether reversing prediabetes offers protection.

It’s a big issue: According to the latest federal data in 2016, one-third of adults in the United States had prediabetes. The prevalence rate is slightly higher in parts of China, where researchers at Tangshan People’s Hospital in northern Hebei Province conducted this latest research.

They looked at a group of 14,231 coal company employees, most of them men, who participated in a long-term study. Her blood sugar was checked in 2006 and 2008 and tracked through 2017.

Between 2006 and 2008, about 45% of prediabetes participants returned to normal blood sugar. About 42% stayed the same and 13% developed diabetes.

After an average follow-up of nearly nine years, and taking into account variables such as body mass index (a measure of body fat) and blood pressure, researchers found that people who returned to normal blood sugar due to prediabetes had a 38% had a lower risk of heart attack and a 28% lower risk of ischemic stroke than those with diabetes. (Ischemic stroke caused by a clot is the most common type of stroke.)

Their risk of dying from any cause during the follow-up period was 18% lower than that of those with diabetes.

This is the first time that reversing prediabetes has been linked to significantly lower risk of heart attack and stroke, the authors wrote.

Dr. Robert Eckel, past president of medicine and science for the American Diabetes Association and past president of the American Heart Association, said it was good to see the cardiovascular benefits of the return of prediabetes reflected in a study that looked at a large group of People.

Eckel, a professor emeritus of medicine at the University of Colorado Medical School, also said the study had some inherent limitations. Studies like this, he noted, cannot identify causes as a randomized clinical trial can.

He also said the work would need to be repeated elsewhere to see if the results apply to non-Chinese people. Other studies in people with type 2 diabetes have found that people of Asian descent tend to have higher rates of stroke, while Western nations have higher rates of heart attacks.

Blood sugar levels were checked only twice and using a fasting plasma glucose test, which Eckel said wasn’t the best measure of prediabetes for such a study.

Still, he said, the takeaway study’s message is, “Resetting prediabetes not only prevents you from having diabetes, it also affects your risk of cardiovascular disease as part of that benefit.”

For someone diagnosed with prediabetes, weight loss is key, Eckel said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend 5% to 7% weight loss and regular physical activity to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

“Ultimately,” he said, “we want to see if you actually have prediabetes in order to prevent type 2 diabetes and return to normal glucose tolerance.”

The American Heart Association News is all about heart and brain health. Not all views expressed in this story reflect the official position of the American Heart Association. The American Heart Association, Inc. owns the copyright and all rights are reserved. If you have any questions or comments about this story, please send an email to editor@heart.org.

By Michael Merschel