Diabetes Triggers Strokes Heart Attacks Warns LSU AgCenter Nutritionist

Elizabeth S. Reames  |  4/21/2005 9:18:34 PM

News You Can Use For January 2004

Young and mature adults, ages 18-44, who get type 2 diabetes are 14 times more likely to have a heart attack and up to 30 times more likely to have a stroke than their peers without diabetes. "The heart-attack rate is especially alarming," says LSU AgCenter nutritionist Dr. Beth Reames.

The findings are the result of a new study funded by the American Diabetes Association at Kaiser Permanente's Center for Health Research (CHR).

"Young women account for almost all the increase in heart attack risk, and young men are twice as likely to suffer a stroke as young women," Reames says.

The LSU AgCenter nutritionist notes that the study is the first to look at the health outcomes of young adults who get diabetes.

"Young adults are increasingly likely to be overweight and diabetic," Reames says.

The researchers used medical records to identify 7,844 individuals who were newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes from 1996 to 1998 (1,600 were under age 45 and 6,244 were 45 or older). Other findings included:

• People with early onset type 2 diabetes are 80 percent more likely to need insulin therapy within two years than people with usual-onset type 2 diabetes.

• People with early onset diabetes were significantly more obese on average than people with usual-onset diabetes (a body mass index of 37 vs. 33). Body mass index (BMI) is the method used to determine weight status. It provides a relationship of weight to height.

An overweight adult is one whose BMI is higher than or equal to 25 and less than 30. An obese adult has a BMI of 30 or higher. For example, an adult who is 5 feet, 6 inches and weighs between 155 and 185 pounds is overweight, and one who weighs more than 185 pounds is obese.

• Younger adults with diabetes were more than twice as likely as older adults with diabetes to develop heart disease compared to their peers without diabetes.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) predicts that at least one of every three Americans born after 2000 will to develop diabetes. According to the researchers, young women with diabetes who have a heart attack are more likely to die from it in the hospital than are men.

Reames says the LSU AgCenter’s Diabetes Education Awareness Recommendations Program provides information on eating healthfully to help control blood glucose levels. The eating plan, based on the food guide pyramid, also will help prevent the development of type 2 diabetes.

The nutritionist adds that the AgCenter’s Portions Healthy Weight Program provides information on healthful eating, physical activity recommendations and lifestyle habits to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

For information about these programs or about eating healthfully using the Food Guide Pyramid, contact the LSU AgCenter Extension agent in your parish. Also, log on to the Family and Consumer Sciences section under the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service at the LSU AgCenter Web site: http://www.lsuagcenter.com/.


On the Internet: LSU AgCenter: http://www.lsuagcenter.com/

Source: Beth Reames (225) 578-3329, or breames@agcenter.lsu.edu

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