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Type 2 diabetes linked to increased risk of heart disease in younger women

Women who were premenopausal or in the first few years of menopause were found to have an increased risk of developing heart disease, according to results from a new observational study.

New research presented at the American Heart Association High Blood Pressure Research Scientific Sessions 2013 suggests that younger women with type 2 diabetes have an increased risk of developing heart disease.

The study analysed clinical data from 1256 premenopausal and menopausal Argentinian women, with and without diabetes, who were aged between 19–84 years. Participants underwent ultrasound imaging to investigate the presence of plaque in their carotid arteries. Researchers found that plaque build up was more frequently observed in women with type 2 diabetes (n=293) compared to those without the condition (n=963), irrespective of age, hypertension, menopausal status, family history or smoking status. 

Nestor Garcia, M.D., Ph.D, investigator from Blossom DMO, Cordoba, Argentina and CONICET, said: “To reduce the risk of heart attacks, we recommend screening women with type 2 diabetes at younger ages, even if they don’t have other known risk for heart disease.”

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