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HbA1c testing may be a useful tool for predicting the risk of heart disease among individuals with diabetes, according to a new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death among individuals with diabetes. Persistently high levels of glucose in the blood are known to cause damage to the vascular system. Yet, tools to accurately predict which individuals will develop the condition have remained elusive.
For the study, researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston administered HbA1c testing to nearly 25,000 participants and tracked their medical records for over 10 years. The results showed that the procedure, which is a measure of long-term blood sugar control, accurately predicted future risk of heart disease in most participants.
The researchers said that the test could be a simple, cost-effective way to assess an individual's future risk of developing cardiovascular problems. This could give the patient time to make lifestyle changes that could help them avoid the condition, while also affording physicians time to develop more tailored approaches to treating heart disease.
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