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Diabetics Should Receive Cardiovascular Prophylaxis

Having diabetes confers same cardiovascular disease risk as previous myocardial infarction

TUESDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- Diabetics aged 30 and older are at similar risk of cardiovascular disease as non-diabetics with a history of myocardial infarction, according to a report released online March 31 in advance of publication in the April 15 issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Tina Ken Schramm, M.D., of Gentofte University Hospital in Hellerup, Denmark, and colleagues analyzed data from 3.3 million residents of Denmark aged 30 and older who were followed-up for five years. At baseline there were 71,801 diabetics (2.2. percent of the population), and 79,575 people (2.4 percent) had a prior myocardial infarction.

Compared with non-diabetic men with no prior myocardial infarction, the odds of cardiovascular death were 2.42 times higher for men with diabetes mellitus and no prior myocardial infarction, and 2.44 in non-diabetic men with a history of myocardial infarction, the researchers found. For women, the same odds ratios were 2.45 and 2.62, respectively. The findings were applicable to both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and remained after adjusting for confounding factors such as comorbidity, socioeconomic status and prophylactic medical treatment.

"All patients 30 years of age and older with diabetes who require glucose-lowering therapy should also receive intensive primary prevention for cardiovascular disease," the authors write. "Antiplatelet therapy, statins and possibly an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor/angiotensin receptor blocker should be added to the treatment because these pharmaceuticals are proven to be safe and effective in the primary prevention of cardiovascular events in diabetes mellitus."

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