People who suffer from pre-diabetes face roughly a 25 per cent greater chance of having a stroke regardless of any other cardiovascular risk factors, according to a new study.
The large-scale meta-analysis follows previous research that has indicated a possible link between pre-diabetes and a person’s risk of having a stroke in the future. However, to date, factors including hypertension and obesity have meant that an accurate estimate regarding the extent of the link had been difficult to achieve.
This research project involved a review of data from a total of 15 different studies combining over 700,000 patients. It split the patients into three groups, those with fasting blood glucose levels of between 6.1 and 6.9 mmol/l, those with an undefined level of impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose and those with normal levels.
The first group, who fall into the category of pre-diabetes as defined by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), experienced a 21 per cent rise in likelihood of stroke once cardiovascular risk factors were taken into account, as compared to those with normal blood glucose levels. The patients with an undefined level of impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose faced the most risk, with a rise of 26 per cent.
Bruce Ovbiagele, from the University of California medical centre, who led the study, said “An immediate implication of our finding is that people with pre-diabetes should be aware they are at an increase risk of stroke.”

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