Early-Onset Diabetes Tied to Raised Cardiac Disease Risk

Risk of coronary artery disease event with early-onset diabetes similar to having a previous MI

WEDNESDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- Early- and late-onset diabetes are associated with an increased risk of major coronary heart disease (CHD) events and mortality, with early-onset diabetes equivalent in risk to a prior myocardial infarction (MI), according to a study published in the March 14 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

S. Goya Wannamethee, Ph.D., from University College London, and colleagues examined the influence of age of onset and duration of diabetes on cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk, and all-cause mortality in 4,045 men aged 60 to 79. Participants were followed up for an average of nine years during which time there were 372 major CHD events, 455 CVD deaths, and 1,112 deaths from all causes. Men were classified according to their history of MI and diabetes.

The investigators found that, compared to men without diabetes and with no CHD, both early and late onset of diabetes were linked with a significantly elevated risk of major CHD events and all-cause mortality, even after adjusting for traditional and novel risk factors. The adjusted relative risks for major CHD events were 1.00 for men with no history of diabetes or MI; 1.54 for those with late-onset diabetes; 2.39 for those with early-onset diabetes; and 2.51 for men without diabetes with prior MI.

"Early onset of diabetes (associated with more than a decade of mean duration of diabetes) appears to be equivalent in risk of CVD to a previous MI," the authors write.

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