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Blood testing could reveal underlying diabetic health issues

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Complications from existing diseases are not uncommon, though finding ways to treat multiple illnesses at once can be difficult for physicians and trying for patients. Diabetics especially face a number of potential complications, making regular blood tests for sugar levels, heart function and tissue health essential to ongoing wellness. Researchers are now finding new ways that basic cholesterol testing can help isolate risks before they arise in these sensitive patients.

The Kaiser Permanente group looked at over 26,000 diabetics to isolate common factors in their blood and other samples that indicated the incidence for developing heart disease. The center's recent report, published by the Journal of General Internal Medicine, highlighted some of the trends scientists at the center uncovered, including patterns in heart disease, stroke and other pulmonary events that resulted in hospitalization of diabetics.

The results of the research comparison showed that people with diabetes are up to four times more likely than people without the condition to have heart disease or die from a heart attack. Elevated blood pressure, unsafe levels of cholesterol and uncontrolled blood sugar were common themes in records of patients, both living and deceased, who had been diagnosed with cardiovascular problems.

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"People with diabetes are often focused on controlling their blood sugar, but our study found that controlling blood pressure and cholesterol is even more important in preventing heart disease," Greg Nichols, lead author of the Kaiser study, said in regards to the findings. He stressed that blood tests for glucose are still essential parts of daily blood sugar maintenance, but in order to circumvent additional health problems down the road, other samples will need to be assessed.

Minnesota Public Radio reported that the high mortality rate and prevalence of diabetes in American adults has lead the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota to begin a dedicated campaign to cure the illness within the next decade. With more than one-third of that state's population currently diagnosed with this condition, researchers believe that the need for such a breakthrough has never been greater. The number of various complications and the tendency for them to be severe is heightened among the diabetic population, the source wrote, so in order to help reduce healthcare costs and improve quality of life for a growing percentage of the world's population, coming up with better ways to fight the complications associated with diabetes, as well as stopping the disease itself, is becoming a greater priority for many scientists.

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