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Hidden Condition May Double the Risk of Heart Disease

August 27, 2007

New research from the American Heart Association finds that people with early warning signs of diabetes, those having trouble metabolizing glucose, have more than double the risk of death from heart disease. Jenna Johnson is the manager of the Diabetes Center and Cardiac Rehab for Merit Care. She says it’s a condition known as “pre-diabetes.”

"Should we be aggressive about this? Yes. But what does that mean? One is, see your doctor, the other thing is to eat healthy, of course."

Johnson says exercise is another important part of heart disease prevention. The trouble begins when the body isn’t metabolizing glucose.

"What happens, particularly at the microvascular level, the tiny little blood vessels that serve the heart, that serve the brain, the serve the kidneys, those become dysfunctional"

Johnson says those North Dakota residents who haven’t had a recent diabetes screening and who have a history of diabetes in their family should get checked. The American Heart Association estimates that 5,000,000 adults in the United States have undiagnosed diabetes and nearly 57,000,000 have pre-diabetes.

To find out more about heart disease and diabetes go to www.americanheart.org/diabetes/.

Dick Layman/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - ND