How does diabetes affect the risk of stroke?
When middle-aged people have diabetes, it increases the likelihood of having a stroke later in life by almost a third.
A recent study by the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm found that middle-aged diabetes affects the risk of developing a stroke. The results of the study were published in the English language journal “Diabetologia”, the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.
Why does diabetes increase the risk of stroke?
The Swedish study found that people who have type 2 diabetes related to obesity at the age of 40 or 50 have a higher risk of stroke after reaching the age of 60 years. This is because diabetes triggers the accumulation of sugar and fat particles in blood vessels, which narrows the arteries that supply the brain with blood. The study has raised fears that the obesity epidemic, which has led to an explosion of cases of type 2 diabetes, could subsequently lead to an increase in strokes. Middle-aged diabetics suffer a stroke more than a third more frequently in later life than people without diabetes, the researchers report.
Data from 33,000 twins were evaluated for the study
For the study, the patient records of 33,000 twins born in the 1960s were analyzed. So the researchers wanted to find out if there is a connection between diabetes and strokes. It turned out that patients who had type 2 diabetes between the ages of 40 and 59 had a 30 percent higher risk of developing stroke later in life over the age of 60 years. In addition, they were twice as likely to suffer from a narrowing of the arteries in their brains, a major cause of stroke. In the study, extra data from twins were evaluated to exclude genetic factors that increase the likelihood of stroke. The findings underline the need to control type 2 diabetes, especially in middle age, in order to reduce the incidence of strokes caused by arterial damage.
How many people in Germany have diabetes?
Diabetes leads to high costs for the health system; the disease has already been described as the most significant health crisis of our time. Many people have type 2 diabetes related to obesity. And millions of people in the world have the disease without even knowing about it, explain the researchers. In 2012, the German Health Survey found that 7.2 percent of the population in Germany suffer from diagnosed diabetes, and another 2.1 percent suffer from unrecognized diabetes. The data are based on a representative national population sample of people aged 18 to 79 years. In the group of people over the age of 65, 16 to 23 percent of people in Germany are affected by diabetes.