Calcification, or hardening, of the arteries occurs in all populations but can be particularly damaging to people with diabetes.
A study of 109 type 1s now indicates sub-optimal blood glucose control can be a strong risk factor that induces progression of coronary artery calcification.
Insulin resistance may also play a role.
Researchers from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, Colorado measured calcification levels using electron-beam computed tomography two times during a three-year period. Progression of coronary artery calcification was found in 21 patients between the ages of 22 and 50.
Past diagnostic efforts focused on assessing coronary artery calcification when patients reached their 40s. The results indicate that coronary artery calcification tests should be conducted earlier, and improved blood glucose control may thwart progression of coronary artery calcification.
Diabetes Care, October 2003