Which Comes First? Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke Begins Before Diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes


By: Jan Chait

The risk of heart disease begins about 15 years before a clinical diagnosis of type 2 diabetes in women, and it is nearly as high before the women develop diabetes as it is after diagnosis, say researchers who have been studying 117,629 female nurses since 1976. None of the women studied had signs of heart disease at baseline.

Before they were diagnosed, women who developed type 2 diabetes had an age-adjusted risk of having a heart attack, a stroke or coronary heart disease 3.75 times greater than that faced by women in the group who did not have diabetes. After diagnosis, the women with type 2 faced a risk 4.57 times greater than that of the other women.

Researchers note that increasing body mass index was “significantly associated with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.” Findings “suggest that aggressive management of cardiovascular risk factors is warranted in individuals at increased risk for diabetes.”

-Diabetes Care, July 2002



Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer
The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.