|Increasing Proportion of
Cardiovascular Disease Due to Diabetes Over the Last 50 Years
A new study shows that as rates of diabetes have risen in the
U.S., the proportion of cardiovascular disease (CVD) linked to
diabetes has also increased.
These findings emphasize the need for increased efforts to prevent
diabetes and to aggressively treat and control CVD risk factors
among those with diabetes, according to the investigators from
the long-standing Framingham Heart Study, a program of the National
Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes
The researchers compared risk factors for cardiovascular disease
and cardiovascular “events” such as heart attacks in Framingham
study participants from two different time periods. The first group
was examined between 1952 and 1974 and the more recent group was
examined between 1975 and 1998. A total of 9,540 individuals age
45 to 64 were evaluated. The risk attributable to diabetes was
5.2 percent in the earlier time period, compared to 7.8 percent
in the later period. Most of the increased risk was observed among
men. The scientists also reported that the prevalence of diabetes
among those with CVD almost doubled between the earlier and later
time periods and there was also an increase in the prevalence of
“Increasing Cardiovascular Burden Due to Diabetes: the
Framingham Heart Study” is published in the March 27th
issue of Circulation and is also currently available online (March
12 Rapid Access issue).
Caroline Fox, M.D., lead author and medical officer with the Framingham
Heart Study of NHLBI, is available to comment on the study’s findings.
She can discuss reasons for the increased burden of cardiovascular
disease due to diabetes and the need to aggressively treat and
control cardiovascular disease risk factors in people with diabetes.
To schedule interviews with Dr. Fox, contact the NHLBI Communications
Office at 301-496-4236.
Part of the National Institutes of Health, the National Heart,
Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) plans, conducts, and supports
research related to the causes, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment
of heart, blood vessel, lung, and blood diseases; and sleep disorders.
The Institute also administers national health education campaigns
on women and heart disease, healthy weight for children, and other
topics. NHLBI press releases and other materials are available
online at: www.nhlbi.nih.gov.
NHLBI is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the
Federal Government's primary agency for biomedical and behavioral
research. NIH is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services. NHLBI press releases and other materials including
information about heart disease, high blood pressure, and high
blood cholesterol are available online at www.nhlbi.nih.gov.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's
Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and
Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting
and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research,
and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both
common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and
its programs, visit www.nih.gov.