1 in 3 adults with T2DM Likely To Have Undetected Cardiovascular Disease: AHA

1 Jun 2023 • A new study published yesterday in the Journal of the American Heart Association reveals 1 in 3 adults with Type 2 diabetes may have undetected cardiovascular disease. Elevated levels of troponin and Nterminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide were associated with undetected or symptomless cardiovascular disease in adults with Type 2 diabetes compared to those without Type 2 diabetes, according to new research.

Researchers analyzed health information and blood samples for more than 10,300 adults collected 1999 to 2004. Study participants had reported no history of cardiovascular disease when they enrolled in the study.


  • One-third (33.4%) of adults with Type 2 diabetes had signs of undetected cardiovascular disease, compared to only 16.1% of those without diabetes.
  • Among the adults with Type 2 diabetes, elevated levels of troponin and NT-proBNP were associated with an increased risk of all-cause death (77% and 78% increased risk, respectively) and cardiovascular death (54% and more than double the increased risk, respectively), compared to normal levels of these proteins in the blood.
  • After adjusting for age, elevated levels of troponin were more common in people with Type 2 diabetes overall and across categories of age, sex, race/ethnicity and weight. In contrast, N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide levels were not elevated in people with Type 2 diabetes compared to those without Type 2 diabetes when adjusted for age.
  • The prevalence of elevated troponin was significantly higher in people who had Type 2 diabetes for a longer period of time and who did not have well-controlled blood sugar levels.

Cholesterol is often the factor that we target to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in people with Type 2 diabetes. However, Type 2 diabetes may have a direct effect on the heart not related to cholesterol levels. If Type 2 diabetes is directly causing damage to the small vessels in the heart unrelated to cholesterol plaque buildup, then cholesterol-lowering medications are not going to prevent cardiac damage,” said study co-author Dr. Elizabeth Selvin, Ph.D., M.P.H. Dr. Selvin adds “Our research suggests that additional non-statin-related therapies are needed to lower the cardiovascular disease risk in people with Type 2 diabetes.”

Source: AHA | Read full story

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