Diabetes Risks Go Beyond Heart Attacks, Strokes

(WebMD) — Diabetes roughly doubles the risk of having a heart attack or stroke, a reality that’s put many doctors and patients on alert about the need to closely watch blood pressure, cholesterol, and other harbingers of an ailing cardiovascular system.

But less attention has been paid to other ways diabetes may cut life short.

Now an international team of researchers has produced one of the first comprehensive reports on the non-cardiovascular causes of death in people with diabetes, and it offers some sobering new findings.

Pooling data from 97 studies representing more than 820,000 people, researchers found that 40% of people with high blood sugar died from non-cardiovascular causes.

Looking Beyond Cardiovascular Disease

For example, compared to people who had not been diagnosed with diabetes, those with diabetes had triple the odds of dying of kidney disease and more than double the risk of dying of an infection (excluding pneumonia) or from liver cancer.

Risks of dying from other kinds of cancers, including ovarian, pancreatic, colorectal, breast, bladder, and lung, were also increased, though more modestly.


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