Study Reveals Prediabetes Is Linked To A Higher Risk For Heart Attack In Adults Under 45

Prediabetes is a condition where a person's blood sugar is higher than normal, but it has yet to develop into type 2 diabetes, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Mayo Clinic notes that a blood sugar less than 100 mg/dL is normal, while a blood sugar between 100-125 mg/dL would be classified as prediabetes. Anything consistently above this level would be diagnosed as diabetes. The CDC explains that a hormone called insulin helps drive sugar into the cells where it can be used for energy. Type 2 diabetes occurs when cells stop responding to insulin, allowing the level of sugar in the blood to rise.

HealthDay News reports that people with elevated blood sugar may have additional worries beyond diabetes. New research presented at an American Heart Association event suggests that you could be at increased risk for a heart attack. In fact, researchers found that people with prediabetes had a 1.7 times greater risk than those without this condition.

The CDC states that one out of three adults in the United States has prediabetes, but over 80% of them aren't aware of it. It notes that prediabetes has been linked to a greater risk for heart disease, as well as stroke.

Prediabetes increases heart attack risk in adults under 45

HealthDay News reports that the researchers arrived at their conclusions about prediabetic heart attack risk by examining data from over 7.8 million people between the ages of 18-44 who had been hospitalized for heart attacks. 

They found that around 0.4% of them had elevated blood sugar in the prediabetes range and heart attack rates in this group were 2.5%. In comparison, the heart attack rate was only 0.3% in those who had normal blood sugar. People with prediabetes were also more likely to have high cholesterol and obesity. Additionally, Black, Hispanic, and Asian/Pacific Islander males were more likely to be prediabetic. A higher income was linked with prediabetes as well, and people in the West and Midwest were more likely to be hospitalized.

While prediabetes was associated with greater heart attack risk, it was noted that these individuals did not appear to experience more frequent cardiovascular incidents. However, the authors said the issue is worthy of more study, given how common prediabetes is.

The American Diabetes Association recommends screening in adults who are overweight, obese, or who have risk factors for diabetes, as well as those who are over the age of 45. If testing is normal, it suggests it be repeated every three years. It further recommends that people who are prediabetic should have additional evaluation and treatment for cardiovascular disease risk factors. Testing should also be done in children and teens who are overweight and at risk for diabetes.