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Heart disease is the number one killer in the U.S., but rates are particularly high among individuals who suffer from diabetes. However, cholesterol testing and other measures of heart health given to diabetics early in their lives may reveal their risk of suffering from heart complications later in life, according to a new study from researchers at Children's Hospital in Wisconsin.
The researchers analyzed the level of arterial flexibility of 21 type 1 diabetes sufferers under the age of 9. Arterial stiffness is a known risk factor for heart disease, as it forces the organ to work harder to push blood through the veins. These results were then compared to those taken from healthy siblings of the participants who did not have the disease.
They found that many of the children with diabetes showed signs of significant arterial hardening. Additionally, the researchers noted high levels of cardiovascular inflammation, which is another known risk factors for heart disease.
The researchers said that these conditions are likely caused by persistently high levels of blood sugar. They suggested having diabetic children screened for these and other heart health problems regularly.
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