Prediabetes Linked to Higher Heart Attack Risk in Young Adults

research highlights

  • Young adults (ages 18 to 44) diagnosed with prediabetes were more likely to be hospitalized for a heart attack than those without prediabetes, according to a 2018 review of U.S. Health Records.
  • Among the young adults hospitalized for a heart attack, prediabetes did not appear to affect their risks for other major cardiovascular events, such as cardiac arrest or stroke.
  • The researchers noted that more aggressive treatment for prediabetes may help reduce the risk of heart attacks in young adults.

RESTON, Virginia, May 14, 2022 — Young adults with higher than normal blood sugar levels that signal prediabetes were more likely to be hospitalized for a heart attack compared to their peers with normal blood sugar levels, according to preliminary research to be presented at the American Heart Association’s Quality of care and results Research Scientific sessions 2022† The meeting will be held Friday and Saturday, May 13-14, 2022 in Reston, Virginia, and will feature the latest research focused on the quality of cardiovascular medical care and patient outcomes in the treatment and prevention of heart disease and stroke.

Having prediabetes means a person’s blood sugar is higher than normal, with fasting blood sugar between 100 and 125 mg/dL, although not high enough to be diagnosed as Type 2 diabetes. Prediabetes is common and increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 88 million adults in the US age 18 or older have prediabetes, which is more than a third of adults in the US. Nearly 29 million adults with prediabetes are between the ages of 18 and 44.

“Prediabetes, if left untreated, can have a significant impact on health and progress to type 2 diabetes, which is known to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease,” says study author Akhil Jain, MD, a physician at Mercy Catholic Medical Center at Darby, PA. “As heart attacks are increasingly common in young adults, our study aimed to define the risk factors relevant to this young population so that future scientific guidelines and health policies may be better able to assess cardiovascular disease risks related to cardiovascular disease. address prediabetes.”

Researchers reviewed patients’ health records in the National Inpatient Sample, the largest publicly available database of hospital admissions in the US. Specifically, 2018 records were examined for heart attack-related hospitalizations in young adults aged 18 to 44 years old.

The analysis found:

  • Of the more than 7.8 million young adults hospitalized for a heart attack in 2018, more than 31,000, or 0.4%, had blood sugar levels that correlated with prediabetes.
  • Among those with prediabetes, the incidence of heart attack was 2.15% compared with 0.3% in young adults with normal blood sugar levels.
  • Adults with prediabetes were more likely than their peers without prediabetes to have high cholesterol (68.1% vs. 47.3%, respectively) and obesity (48.9% vs. 25.7%, respectively).
  • Adults with prediabetes who were hospitalized for a heart attack were more likely to be black, Hispanic, or Asian/Pacific Islander race or ethnicity.
  • Adults with prediabetes who were hospitalized for a heart attack were more likely to have higher family incomes, to be hospitalized in urban teaching hospitals, or to be hospitalized in the Midwestern and Western regions of the US, compared with adults with heart attacks who did not have prediabetes .

“After taking into account several influencing and modifying factors, we found that young adults with prediabetes were 1.7 times more likely to be hospitalized for a heart attack compared to their peers without prediabetes,” said Jain. “Despite being more likely to have a heart attack, the young adults with prediabetes did not have a higher incidence of other serious cardiovascular events, such as cardiac arrest or stroke.”

Although prediabetes is a precursor to type 2 diabetes and other serious health complications, it can be reversed. Many of the steps taken to prevent prediabetes are the same steps taken to prevent heart disease.

“If blood sugar meets the criteria for prediabetes, this is a wake-up call to take action. It’s important for people with prediabetes to know that lifestyle changes are key to improving their glucose levels and overall health, potentially reversing prediabetes and preventing type 2 diabetes,” said Eduardo Sanchez, MD, MPH, FAHA, FAAFP, the American Heart Association’s medical chief, the Association’s prevention officer and clinical direction Ken Diabetes by Heart™ initiative. “Healthy food, be physically active and losing weight, if necessary, are all meaningful ways to reverse a prediabetes diagnosis. Participation in a smoking cessation program is also very important for smokers. Other lifestyle and behavior changes, such as: reduce stressmay seem small, but they can have a big impact on many different areas of life and can also make a difference.”

In-depth research on heart attacks in young adults with prediabetes is lacking and more needs to be done, Jain said.

“Our study should be considered a basis for future research to clearly establish the heart disease burden in young adults with prediabetes, given the prevalence of prediabetes in nearly 1/3 of adults in the US. It is essential to educate young adults. understand the importance of routine health checks, including screening for prediabetes, and taking steps to prevent or delay the development of type 2 diabetes and associated cardiovascular events such as heart attack,” he said.

Co-authors are Rupak Desai, MBBS; Fariah Asha Haque, MBBS; Advait Vasavada, MBBS; Manisha Jain, MBBS; Rohan Desai, MD; Viralkumar Patel, MD; Saima scarf, MBBS; Sailaja Sanikommu, MBBS; Samuel Edusa, MD; Navya Sadum, MBBS; and Thomas Alukal, MD Authors’ disclosures are noted in the abstract.

The authors reported no outside funding for this study.

NOTE: The presentation time for this oral summary is Saturday, May 14, 2022 at 8:06 AM.

Statements and conclusions of studies presented at the scientific meetings of the American Heart Association are those of the authors of the study only and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the Association. The Association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. Summaries presented at the Association’s scientific meetings are not peer-reviewed, but are compiled by independent review panels and are judged on the potential to increase the diversity of scientific issues and views discussed at the meeting. The findings are considered preliminary until published as a full manuscript in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

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