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Early Type 2 Diabetes Screening and Treatment May Reduce Heart Disease

Dr. William Herman - University of Michigan
Dr. William Herman – University of Michigan

A new study by the University of Michigan and Cambridge University (UK) suggests that early screening for Type 2 Diabetes could have profound impacts on heart health. 

The Findings

The study, “Early Detection and Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes Reduce Cardiovascular Morbidity and Mortality: A Simulation of the Results of the Anglo-Danish-Dutch Study of Intensive Treatment in People With Screen-Detected Diabetes in Primary Care” appeared in the May issue of the American Diabetes Association journal, Diabetes Cares.

Direct clinical data was taken from the ADDITION-Europe study of diabetes screening and treatment. It was then combined it with a computer model that simulated the progression of diabetes. Their approach revealed a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease in patients who received a screening and treatment when compared to patients who received no screening. In a press release, the University of Michigan explained the results in slightly more detail.

At 10 years after baseline, the simulations predicted that with a delay of 3 years in diagnosis and treatment, 22.4 percent of those with Type 2 diabetes would experience a cardiovascular disease event, such as stroke or heart bypass surgery. This rose to 25.9 percent with a diagnosis delay of six years.

However, if screening and routine care had been implemented, the simulation predicted only 18.4 percent would experience a cardiovascular disease event at 10 years after baseline. The simulated incidence of all-cause mortality was 16.4 percent with a delay of three years and 18.2 percent with a delay of six years, compared to 14.6 percent for screening and treatment.

This means that over 10 years, the model predicts that for people with undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes, screening would be associated with a 29 percent reduction in relative risk of a cardiovascular disease event, compared with a delay of six years in diagnosis and treatment.

This amounts to a 7.5 percent reduction in the absolute risk of adverse cardiovascular outcome in this population. The comparable change in all-cause mortality was 20 percent relative risk and 3.6 percent absolute risk reduction.

The Benefits

Dr. William Herman, professor at the University of Michigan Medical School led the research team. For Dr. Herman, the benefits of early screen couldn’t be more clear from both a medical and financial standpoint. “Diabetes can be debilitating for patients and costly for healthcare. This research shows that the early identification of diabetes has major health benefits, and supports the introduction of measures such as screening to reduce the time between development of Type 2 diabetes and its treatment.”


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