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Prediabetes May Raise Heart Deaths

Study: Prediabetes May More Than Double Adults' Odds of Dying From Heart Disease
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WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

June 18, 2007 -- Adults with prediabetes may be more than twice as likely to die of heart disease as people without blood sugar (glucose) problems.

That's according to a new study from Australia.

Based on the findings, the researchers recommend boosting heart health in anyone with blood sugar problems, even if those problems are too mild to qualify as diabetes.

The study appears online in the rapid access edition of the journal Circulation. The researchers included Elizabeth Barr, MPH, of the International Diabetes Institute in Caulfield, Australia.

Barr's team doesn't give specific advice, but doctors can make recommendations to patients. Those tips may include losing extra weight, boosting physical activity, and getting good medical care.

About Diabetes and Prediabetes

In type 2 diabetes, the most common type of diabetes in adults, the body doesn't make or respond to insulin properly. Type 2 diabetes makes heart disease and other health problems more likely.

In prediabetes, the body has started having problems handling blood sugar, but those problems haven't yet become diabetes.

According to the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, nearly 21 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, and 90% to 95% of them have type 2 diabetes; 54 million more people have prediabetes.

Many people don't know they have diabetes or prediabetes.

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes may include fatigue, frequent urination, increased thirst or hunger, weight loss, blurred vision, and slow healing of wounds or sores. Some people with prediabetes may have those symptoms, but most people with prediabetes don't have symptoms.

Is This Normal? Get the Facts Fast!

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If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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