Type 2 Diabetes Cuts Eight Years Off Life

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By: Linda von Wartburg

A study published in the June 2007 Archives of Internal Medicine hascalculated that a person with type 2 diabetes is more than twice aslikely to develop heart disease as someone without diabetes.

Moreover, they're likely to get it about eight years sooner thanpeople without diabetes and likely to die about eight years youngerthan non-diabetic people. The study used data from the FraminghamHeart Study, which has examined more than 5,000 residents ofFramingham, Massachusetts, every two years since 1948.

Specifically, the study revealed that fifty-year-old men withdiabetes develop heart disease an average of 7.8 years sooner thannon-diabetic men and die an average of 7.5 years earlier thannon-diabetic men with heart disease.

Fifty-year-old women withdiabetes develop heart disease 8.4 years sooner than non-diabeticwomen and die an average of 8.2 years earlier than non-diabeticwomen with heart disease.

People with diabetes live almost as many years after a diagnosis ofheart disease as non-diabetic people do; the problem lies in thefact that they develop heart disease sooner, so they're younger whenthey run out of time.

Take heart, though, from the knowledge that even after diabeteshas been diagnosed, heart disease can be prevented by a healthylifestyle and proper medical care. There have been great advances inthe prevention of heart disease, including the use of statins, sincethe Framingham study began, but the lifestyle-mediated explosion oftype 2 diabetes bodes ill for the future.

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