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Common test could help predict early death in diabetes, study shows
Date:5/22/2011

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. Monday, May 23, 2011 New findings out of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center reveal that a common test may be useful in predicting early death in individuals with diabetes.

The study appears in the May issue of Diabetes Care.

"People with diabetes are already at high risk of developing heart disease and experiencing an early death," said Donald W. Bowden, Ph.D., the director of the Center for Diabetes Research at Wake Forest Baptist and lead investigator. "With this study, we've discovered that we can identify a subset of individuals within this high risk group who are at even higher risk, and the means to do this is already widely available in the form of a computed tomography (CT) scan a relatively inexpensive and non-invasive test."

More than 25 million Americans 8.3 percent of the population are currently living with diabetes, according to the National Institutes of Health. People with the condition are at increased risk of developing heart and vascular disease and, while vascular disease is common in the general population, it is twice as common in people with diabetes. At least 60 percent of diabetes patients even those on dialysis for kidney failure ultimately die of a vascular event, such as heart attack or stroke. However, Bowden said, questions about why so many diabetes patients die early have remained unanswered in the medical community's understanding of the disease.

For the Diabetes Heart Study, Bowden and colleagues have been following nearly 1,500 patients with diabetes in North Carolina for about 13 years, gathering data on various aspects of the disease and how it affects individual health. As original study participants began to die, the researchers sought to understand why.

"When we reviewed the data last year, we were shocked by the number of participants who had already died during this study," Bowden said. "We wanted to find out if there were any predictors
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Contact: Jessica Guenzel
jguenzel@wakehealth.edu
336-716-3487
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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