Early detection and treatment of type 2 diabetes may reduce heart disease and mortality

Screening to identify type 2 diabetes followed by early treatment could result in substantial health benefits, according to new research just published in Diabetes Care that combined large scale clinical observations and innovative computer modelling.

“This work shows the value of public health modelling to assess impacts and interventions for diseases such as type 2 diabetes that pose an increasing public health challenge.”
   – Nick Wareham

The study, led by researchers at the University of Michigan and the MRC Epidemiology Unit, University of Cambridge, used data from the ADDITION-Europe study of diabetes screening and treatment, which it combined with a computer simulation model of diabetes progression. This revealed that screening followed by treatment led to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease or death within a 5-year follow-up period when compared to patients having no screening.

The ADDITION-Europe study enrolled people 40 to 69 years of age without known diabetes from 343 general practices in the United Kingdom, Denmark, and the Netherlands. The study had two objectives: firstly, to determine if routine screening for type 2 diabetes was feasible; secondly, to determine if early, intensive, treatment of high blood sugar and cardiovascular risk factors such as blood pressure, cholesterol status and smoking in those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes reduced the risk of events such as stroke, heart attack, angioplasty, heart bypass surgery, amputation and death.

The researchers found that screening was feasible, but that intensive treatment did not yield statistically significant benefits over routine care, most likely because of the overall high quality of routine diabetes care delivered in general practice.



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