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Research claims diabetes doubles the risk of heart attacks and strokes

New research indicates that having diabetes approximately doubles the risk of developing a wide range of cardiovascular disease, such as heart attack and stroke. Diabetes is now estimated to be responsible for one in every ten deaths from cardiovascular disease.

The findings are published in this week’s Lancet and are being presented at the American Diabetes Association's 70th Scientific Sessions in Orlando, Florida.

Researchers say cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death globally, responsible for around 17 million deaths every year, and diabetes has long been recognised as a major risk factor.

This new study into diabetes and cardiovascular disease involved a combined analysis of 700,000 people, who were monitored for about a decade in 102 surveys, carried out in 25 countries. Researchers attributed around 325,000 cardiovascular deaths per year to diabetes, when all industrialised countries were added together.

Double the risk

"This study confirms diabetes more than doubled the risk of developing life-threatening cardiovascular conditions including stroke and heart disease," said Dr Victoria King, Diabetes UK Research Manager.

Vital to tackle development of Type 2 diabetes

"With 2.6 million people with diabetes in the UK, and an estimated four million more by 2025, this study further highlights how vital it is to reduce the number of people developing Type 2 diabetes in the first place, by improving diet, doing at least half an hour of physical activity every day and maintaining a healthy weight. It is also crucial to find better treatments and management strategies for people already living with diabetes."

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