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Health practitioners have been warning patients the ‘lower the better’ for cholesterol and blood pressure in order to reduce the risk of a heart attack. Now there is evidence that patients with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes practitioners should add ‘the sooner, the better’ for prevention of cardiovascular disease.

Tina Ken Schramm, MD, Gentofte Hospital, Hellerup, Denmark did a population of 3.3 million people 30 years and older who live in Denmark. Approximately 2.2% had diabetes and 2.4% had a previous heart attack. Analysis of the data revealed that the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease was 2.45 times greater for women with diabetes compared with 2.62 times greater for women with a prior heart attack.

When data was combined to include heart attack, stroke, and death, from cardiovascular disease the risk in men with diabetes was 2.32 versus 2.48 for men who had at least one heart attack. The risk for women with diabetes the risk was 2.48 versus 2.71 for women who had at least one heart attack.

Researchers conclude that diabetes patients over 30–and require glucose-lowering treatment–are at a particularly high risk of cardiovascular death and disease. The risk for a heart attack is similar for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes patients.