Low blood sugar linked to increased risk for heart problems and early death

Diabetic patients who experience hypoglycemia have an increased risk for cardiovascular events, and possibly early death, according to new research published in Diabetes Care.

In the study, both patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes were at risk for heart problems following hypoglycemia, said lead researcher Kamlesh Khunti, which suggests these individuals most likely need early intervention strategies in place to reduce their risk for low blood sugar.

The study found that insulin-treated patients with diabetes had about a 60-percent higher risk of cardiovascular events after hypoglycemia than patients who didn't experience low blood sugar, and they were also 2-2.5 times more likely to die over the same period as the patients who didn't experience hypoglycemia.

'A major cause of early death'

Having diabetes can increase risk for cardiovascular events because of plaque build-up in the blood vessels - which can be a "major cause of early death," a news release on the study stated.

According to Melanie Davies, Professor of Diabetes Medicine at the University of Leicester, the new research confirms just how dangerous hypoglycemia can be and how it can remain a risk factor for a long period of time.

"Going forward we need to focus on management strategies that help patients minimize their risk of having hypoglycemic events," Davies said.

Source: University of Leicester

Image courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee/Free DigitalPhotos.net

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