Warning to anyone diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in the last year

A WARNING has been given to anyone diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in the last year.

The condition already affects almost five million Brits and a further 13 million at risk.

It puts people at greater danger of heart disease and heart attack, due to elevated blood sugars damaging vessels.

This was thought to occur over a long period of time.

But British scientists have found a crucial period – the first year after diagnosis – to prevent such deadly complications.

The study from the University of Surrey looked at 26,180 people who had gotten a type 2 diabetes diagnosis in 2005.

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They found that patients who had varied blood sugar levels 12 months after a diagnosis were up to 50 per cent more likely to experience a dangerous cardiovascular event.

This includes heart attack and stroke, of which diabetes causes 530 and 680 deaths, respectively, per week in the UK. 

People may have struggled to get their blood sugar levels under control by failing to take lifestyle interventions or medication.

The findings therefore suggest that getting on top of the condition as soon as possible reduces the odds of devastating cardiovascular problems.

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Dr Martin Whyte, co-author of the study and Reader in Metabolic Medicine at the University of Surrey, said: “The conventional wisdom has been to slowly and steadily treat type 2 diabetes with diet and medicine dose-escalation over years.

“The period over which it took people to reduce their sugar levels after diagnosis was thought less important for major vascular protection. 

“However, our observational study suggests that getting blood levels under control quickly – within the first 12 months after diagnosis – will significantly help reduce cardiovascular events.”  

The study paper, published in the journal Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, found the average time from diagnosis to a cardiovascular event was less than two years.

After a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, there is a lot of information to process.

Most people will be told to make improvements to their diet and up their exercise, as being a healthy weight improves type 2 diabetes management.

Strong evidence shows that some people can put their type 2 diabetes into remission by losing weight.

A GP may also prescribe medicine.

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Around 90 per cent of people with diabetes in the UK have type 2.

It’s linked with a number of complications, including thyroid disease; eye, dental kidney, and foot problems; cancer and more.

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