Common test could offer prediction of early death from diabetes

Tue, 24 May 2011
Researchers in the United States have found that a common and fairly inexpensive test for diabetes, the computed tomography (CT) scan, could help predict early death in patients suffering from type 2 diabetes . The study also revealed that diabetics were at an increased risk of developing heart and vascular disease .

The research, which was published in Diabetes Care, involved monitoring nearly 1,500 diabetes patients over a 13-year period, with the information on different aspects of the condition and its affect on health being assessed. The team used a high coronary artery calcium (CAC) score to assess the risk of coronary heart disease being present in the blood vessels of the heart. For people with diabetes, there is a typically a wide range of calcified plaque that has built up in the heart and arteries.

The patients involved in this study were categorised by the amount of calcified plaque in their blood vessels at the beginning of the study, with a significant risk of dying earlier found in those with highest levels of calcified plaque in their blood vessels.

Donald W. Bowden, lead research, pointed out "In a group of people who are already at high risk, we were looking for a way to identify which individuals were at even higher risk for early death, with the goal of finding interventions or ways to focus medical care and attention toward those individuals at highest risk."
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