The number of people with diabetes who develop cardiovascular disease in Sweden has dropped sharply over the last decade, according to new research.
A study of almost three million adults in the country has shown that since the late 1990s, the number of cardiovascular disease incidences among those with type 1 diabetes aged about 35 has dropped by 40 per cent.
In people with type 2 diabetes and an average age of 65 years, the incidence of cardiovascular disease was reduced by 50 per cent.
The decrease among controls of a similar age who did not have type 1 diabetes was 10 per cent, and 30 per cent among matched controls without type 2 diabetes.
Aidin Rawshani, who led the research, said: “One of the main findings of the study is that both deaths and the incidence of cardiovascular disease is decreasing in the population, both in matching control groups and among persons with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
“One paradoxical finding is that individuals with type 2 diabetes have seen a smaller improvement over time regarding deaths compared to the controls, while persons with type 1 diabetes have made an equal improvement to the controls.”
The research team from the University of Gothenburg, used data from the National Diabetes Register, the Cause of Death Register and the part of the Patient register that looks at hospital care.
Of the 2.96 million people’s health records they studied, 37,000 had type 1 diabetes and 460,000 had type 2 diabetes.
Although the study did not look on why there has been such a significant drop in numbers, the researchers think “better control of risk factors, better education for patients, better integrated treatment systems for individuals with chronic illnesses and individual care for persons with diabetes” have all been contributing factors.
The findings of the research have been published in the New England Journal of Medicine.