Men in their 30s who have diabetes are up to about 18 times more likely to have heart disease such as heart attacks and angina than those in the same age bracket who don't have diabetes, a study has shown.
The team of researchers including Niigata University associate professor Kazuya Fujihara published the findings in an international professional journal. It is generally believed that diabetes patients are two to four times more likely to have heart disease than those without diabetes, but the latest findings show that the chance of heart disease for diabetes patients is far higher than that.
Heart disease such as a heart attack is believed to be a major cause of sudden deaths of people in their most productive years, and diabetes patients with high blood sugar levels are more likely to develop arteriosclerosis.
The research team selected from a database on health insurance claims and picked 111,621 men aged between 31 and 60, who had had health checkups between 2008 and 2012 but had never suffered from a heart ailment.
With consideration of other factors such as high blood pressure and obesity taken into account, the research team compared the incidence rates of heart disease between diabetes patients and those whose blood sugar levels are normal.
As a result, those in the 30s have a difference of up to 18.2 times, compared to 2.7 times for those in their 40s, and 2.5 times for those in their 50s. Pre-diabetes people in their 30s, who have slightly high blood sugar levels, are also 2.9 times more likely to develop heart disease, compared with 0.9 to 1.6 times for those in their 40s and 50s.
Professor Hirohito Sone, a member of the research team, said, "If people are diagnosed with diabetes or their blood glucose levels are relatively high, they shouldn't feel easy even if they are young. Conversely, they have higher risks because they are young. It is important to deal with the issue ahead of time by improving their lifestyles, etc."