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Study Shows Way to Reduce Diabetics' Heart Risk

Friday, 07 Oct 2011 11:42 AM


Diabetics are more prone to cardiovascular disease than nondiabetics, but raising their levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDL or "good" cholesterol) can reduce the risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

Diabetics have a lifetime risk of heart disease as high as 87 percent higher than people who don't have the disease.

Researchers have shown that lowering LDL or "bad" cholesterol can reduce the risk, but the effects of raising levels of good cholesterol have been less clear.

In the largest study of its kind, researchers at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research investigated the medical records of more than 30,000 diabetic patients who had two cholesterol tests over a period of time ranging from six to 24 months. During that time, more than 61 percent of the patients had no change in cholesterol levels, but HDL levels had increased in 22 percent of patients and decreased in 17 percent. They were then followed for up to eight years.

Researchers found that those whose HDL levels had decreased suffered 11 percent more heart attacks and strokes than those patients whose HDL levels had remained the same. Patients whose levels of HDL had increased lowered their risk by 8 percent.

"Our study adds to the growing body of evidence that raising HDL levels may be an important strategy for reducing heart attack risk," said study lead author Gregory Nichols, Ph.D., senior investigator with the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore.

"This is promising news for patients with diabetes, who already have an increased risk for heart problems. Raising their good cholesterol may be one more way for these patients to reduce their risk," said Suma Vupputuri, Ph.D., co-author and investigator with the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Atlanta.

HDL levels can be raised without medication by keeping weight in check, eating a healthy diet, avoiding tobacco, and exercising.





© HealthDay

   
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Diabetics are more prone to cardiovascular disease than nondiabetics, but raising their levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDL or "good" cholesterol) can reduce the risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
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2011-42-07
Friday, 07 Oct 2011 11:42 AM
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