Prediabetes is associated with an increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease according to new research that suggests that screening and interventions could lead to prevention of heart problems.

The study published in the BMJ analysed the results of 129 studies on associations between prediabetes and the risk of cardiovascular disease and death from any cause (all cause mortality) in individuals with and without a history of heart disease.

It involved over 10 million individuals and found that in the general population, prediabetes was associated with a 13% increased risk of all cause mortality and a 15% increased risk of cardiovascular disease, over an average follow-up time of around 10 years.

Prediabetes, when a person’s blood sugar level is higher than normal, but not high enough to be considered diabetes, was also found to lead to a higher risk of coronary heart disease and stroke.

Prediabetes linked to increased risk of all cause mortality

Researchers said this equates to seven extra deaths per 10,000 person years and almost nine extra cases of cardiovascular disease per 10,000 person years in the general population, compared with normal blood sugar levels.

In patients with a history of heart disease, prediabetes was associated with a 36% increased risk of all cause mortality and a 37% increased risk of cardiovascular disease, over an average follow-up time of around 3 years, but no difference was seen for the risk of stroke.

In absolute terms, this equates to 66 extra deaths per 10,000 person years and almost 190 extra cases of cardiovascular disease per 10,000 person years, compared with normal blood sugar levels.


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