Another study published in 2002 documented a substantially increased risk of cardiovascular disease prior to clinical diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes in women. What’s more, the risk began to increase at least 15 years before diagnosis.
The study hearkens back to research published as early as 1990, in which it was proposed that the “clock starts ticking” for heart disease decades before the clinical onset of Type 2 diabetes. Findings like these have increased interest in taking advantage of the connection between diabetes and heart disease to conduct effective early screenings.
“There is currently a national task force at work examining the value of screening people with coronary disease for diabetes, and screening people with diabetes for coronary disease,” Dr. Lambrew says. “The American College of Cardiology and the ADA have formed an alliance to emphasize prevention and early detection.”
Taken together, it would appear that there are good reasons for people with diabetes to keep a watch on cardiovascular risk factors, to know the symptoms of a heart attack, and to know what to do in an emergency.