People with diabetes and cognitive decline may be at increased risk of heart disease

Diabetes expert reveals rise of cases in children during pandemic

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Cognitive impairment occurs when a person has trouble remembering, learning new things, concentrating, or making decisions affecting their everyday life.

The condition ranges from mild to severe and is also associated with the onset of Alzheimer’s, the most common form of Dementia.

Research from McMaster University in Canada has found type two diabetics with cognitive impairment are at increased risk of developing heart disease.

Co-author of the study Dr Hertzel Gerstein said of the results: “Our study found low scores on cognitive tests predicted heart disease in people with diabetes and other heart risk factors.”

The Dr added: “Although the explanation for this remains unclear, proven heart medications should be offered to these patients to reduce their future risk of heart attack or stroke”.

Results from the data showed people experiencing severe cognitive impairment were over one-and-a-half times more likely to experience major cardiovascular events.

Meanwhile they were close to twice as likely to experience a stroke compared to those who didn’t suffer from cognitive impairment.

Diabetes isn’t the only condition found to increase the risk of heart disease.

According to the CDC in the United States, asthma can also impact a person’s risk of developing heart disease or high blood pressure.

Researchers have found a higher risk for coronary heart disease for those between the ages of 39 and 57.

While the link has been established scientists are in the dark as to why it exists.

The University of California’s Dr Raj Dasgupta said: “We can’t show causality, but science does show it’s connected to pro-inflammatory mediators, things that trigger inflammation in the body”.

Dr Dasgupta one potential cause could be steroids used to treat asthma attacks and other cardiovascular emergencies: “Steroid increase blood pressure, they increase blood sugar and both high blood pressure and high blood sugar levels are very important risk factors for coronary artery disease and stroke”.

“They can also cause weight gain, which is another risk factor” added the professor.

Obesity is just one risk factor for coronary heart disease; other risk factors include:
• Smoking
• High blood pressure (hypertension)
• High cholesterol
• Lack of exercise
• Diabetes
• A family history of coronary heart disease.

All these factors contribute to the build-up of fatty deposits on the walls of the arteries, a condition known as atherosclerosis.

Although coronary heart disease is a dangerous condition there are several ways to treat it such as moving to healthier lifestyle habits and treating the underlying causes such as high cholesterol and hypertension.

Coronary heart disease is one of the most common diseases in the UK affecting around 7.6 million people.

More information on coronary heart disease is available on the NHS website.

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