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Teenagers who have HbA1c testing show that they have type 2 diabetes may be at risk for more than just metabolic problems. A new study presented at the Annual Meeting of the Endocrine Society in Boston indicates that many of these young people already show signs of impaired cardiovascular function.
The University of Auckland researchers said that their findings underscore the need to get young people more active. Exercise has been shown to reverse the type of cardiovascular damage they noted in the study participants.
For the study, the team took MRI scans of 40 teenagers both before and immediately after they engaged in physical activity. The imaging showed that the hearts of young people who had type 2 diabetes did not fill up with as much blood between beats as those of healthy individuals.
The researchers said that this may indicate arterial stiffness, which can be a major detriment to cardiovascular health, and may lead to high blood pressure.
"It appears that irrespective of weight, type 2 diabetes seems to have a negative effect on the heart and blood vessels in adolescents," said Teresa Pinto, who led the investigation.
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