Elevated blood sugar levels and the risk of cardiovascular diseases - London Health Company

Elevated blood sugar levels and the risk of cardiovascular diseases

A recent study led by researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and University College London (UCL) has revealed that both men and women with elevated blood sugar levels, even below the diabetes threshold, face a significantly higher risk (30-50%) of developing cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). This risk persisted even when blood sugar levels were considered normal. The research analyzed data from 427,435 individuals in the UK, spanning a range of blood sugar levels, including those with prediabetes and diabetes.

Interestingly, the study found that the gender difference in the relative risk of developing CVDs disappeared when factors like body measurements and medication use were taken into account. Initially, women were found to have a higher relative risk of CVDs compared to men, but this difference diminished after adjusting for these factors.

The research also highlighted the importance of managing blood sugar levels, as individuals with the lowest blood sugar levels within the normal range had a 10% lower risk of developing any form of CVD compared to those with normal levels. On the other hand, men with elevated blood sugar levels below the diabetes threshold had a 30% higher risk of CVDs, and women with similar levels faced a 30-50% higher risk. These risks were even greater for those diagnosed with diabetes.

The study emphasized the potential for risk reduction through modifiable factors such as weight management and the use of medications like antihypertensives and statins. Notably, the researchers highlighted the need to address the disparity in prescribing such medications to women with elevated blood sugar levels.

The study had its limitations, including the fact that participants in the UK Biobank were generally healthier than the broader population, and lifestyle data were self-reported. Despite these limitations, the findings contribute valuable insights into the complex relationship between blood sugar levels, gender, and cardiovascular health.
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