KATHMANDU — Developing Type 2 diabetes early in life increases risk of death linked to heart disease by 60 percent, according to a study published in Diabetologia.
The condition was once considered a disease of the elderly but the obesity epidemic has led to a surge in cases in young adults and even children too.
Research on 744,000 sufferers over 15 years to 2011 found the average diagnosis age was 59 and there were 115,363 deaths during the period.
It was associated with a 60 percent higher relative risk of dying from heart disease or stroke. Not only that, it was linked to almost a 30 percent higher risk of death from any cause, though a lower risk of dying from cancer was seen.
“Type 2 diabetes in young people is somewhat aggressive and leads to higher mortality,” said study co-author Dianna Magliano, head of the diabetes and population health laboratory at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne, Australia.
Dr Joel Zonszein, director of the Clinical Diabetes Center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, said “Type 2 diabetes has evolved through the years into a different type of disease. It used to be a disease of the elderly.” He was not involved with the study.
“What we see nowadays with Type 2 diabetes is that it’s affecting a younger population and is more aggressive. There’s more weight, more lipotoxicity, more insulin resistance and more inflammation, and inflammation can cause premature cardiovascular disease,” Zonszein said.
Lipotoxicity is when the fats in the blood, or cholesterol, build up in places they shouldn’t, such as the liver, kidneys or heart.
The researchers also think the reason the younger people had fewer cancers is that it’s just more common for older people to have cancer.
They also suggested that because this group of younger people is being treated for Type 2 diabetes, it’s possible that when they do have cancer, it’s getting diagnosed and treated sooner, because they’re already engaged in the health care system.
With Agency Inputs