Wednesday, October 28, 2015

High Blood Pressure Linked with Increased Type 2 Diabetes Risk

The link between high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease has been known for quite some time, as has the link between type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. However, it has largely remained unclear whether high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes are also linked.

Until now.

A new study published this month by the Journal of the American College of Cardiology has found a link between the two conditions. In the study, 4.1 million patients free of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes were monitored for 7 years. Over the course of the study, patients who had elevated blood pressures had a 60% greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to those with non-elevated blood pressures.

Study authors did not comment on whether this finding demonstrates a causal link between the two conditions, but they do believe it provides another reason for patients and doctors to strive for better blood pressure control. Patients, providers, and communities across Colorado are doing just that by partnering with the United States Department of Health and Human Service’s Million Hearts® Initiative. Through a combination of provider education, patient education, and healthcare quality improvement, Million Hearts® aims to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. To learn more about Million Hearts® and the resources it provides, visit the Million Hearts® website.

Tighter blood pressure control isn’t the only way to decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Many studies have shown that lifestyle modification can also significantly reduce one’s risk of developing the disease (a recent example can be viewed here, from the October issue of The Lancet). In Colorado, the Diabetes Prevention Program aims to provide patients with the education and support they need to live healthier lifestyles and reduce their type 2 diabetes risk. To learn more about the Colorado DPP, visit our website. For a list of CDC-recognized DPP programs in Colorado, click here.

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