With rising obesity rates, more young women American women are developing type 2 diabetes, putting them at hugely increased risk for heart disease, new research shows.
In fact, the study found that women under 55 with type 2 diabetes had a tenfold greater risk of having heart disease over the next two decades compared to their non-diabetic peers.
Even just having high blood sugar appeared to increase the risk for premature heart disease by 600%, according to researchers at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
All of this means that “we’re going to see, unfortunately, younger and younger people having heart attacks,” said researcher Dr. Samia Mora, of Brigham’s Center for Lipid Metabolomics.
“When a younger individual has a cardiovascular event, it will affect their quality of life going forward, their productivity, and their contribution to society,” Mora said in a hospital news release.
None of that is inevitable, since so many risk factors for heart disease — including obesity, diabetes and smoking — can be brought under control, according to one diabetes specialist.
“Risk factor management at a younger age is important and can significantly reduce cardiovascular events in the future years,” said Dr. Shuchie Jaggi, attending physician in endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism at Northwell Health in Great Neck, N.Y. She wasn’t involved in the new report.
In their research, Mora’s group analyzed more than 50 heart risk factors among more than 28,000 American women who took part in the ongoing Women’s Health Study.