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New figures show extent of heart health risk among type 2 diabetics

Wednesday 27th September 2017
The risk of a heart attack or stroke is dramatically elevated for patients with type 2 diabetes, new statistics show. Image: vunalan via iStock
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People who are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are 2.4 times more likely to suffer a heart attack than the average healthy individual, new statistics reveal.

Estimates from the British Heart Foundation (BHF) show that type 2 diabetics are also 2.7 times more likely to receive a diagnosis for heart failure, while their risk of experiencing a stroke is twice as high.

These figures have been released to demonstrate the full extent of the strain that type 2 diabetes can put on a person's body. They should help to raise awareness among the general public and encourage them to adopt healthier lifestyle habits to lower their risk of obesity and associated type 2 diabetes.

The BHF is in fact partnering with the charity Diabetes UK and supermarket Tesco for a campaign to get more people exercising and eating healthily to reduce their risk of developing diabetes and the heart problems that so often come with it. The collaboration, which is part of the National Charity Partnership, is also helping to fund more research into these illnesses.

Further data from the charities shows that almost 240,000 people with type 2 diabetes suffer from heart disease or a stroke each year, with 23,200 suffering a heart attack and 92,800 developing heart failure.

Dr Mike Knapton, associate medical director of the BHF, commented: "These estimates are a stark reminder that people living with diabetes are two to three times more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke.

"The tragedy is that, often, the onset of these conditions can be prevented, while research could lead to new treatments.

"Our unique partnership with Tesco and Diabetes UK is enabling us to fund research into new ways of preventing these deadly conditions."

Overall, there are believed to be some 4.2 million people currently living with type 2 diabetes in the UK, with an additional 11.9 million at risk of developing the illness in the near future unless they make significant changes to their lifestyles.

Written by Mathew Horton

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