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Int J Cardiol. 2003 Jun;89(2-3):123-34.

Current concepts of cardiovascular diseases in diabetes mellitus.

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Section of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, The Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27834-4354, USA.


The incidence of diabetes has reached epidemic proportions across the world. In patients with diabetes, there is a two to four times increased risk of developing coronary artery disease (CAD). Diabetes seems to eliminate the protective benefits of hormones in women against CAD. Patients with type II diabetes also have hypertension, dyslipidemia, obesity, endothelial dysfunction and prothrombotic factors, called 'the metabolic syndrome'. Not only the incidence of CAD is higher in diabetes, the mortality of the diabetic patients after a cardiac event is significantly increased as compared to non-diabetics, including sudden death. Although in the past 35 years there has been a decline in the rate of death due to CAD in the general population, this has not been seen among patients with diabetes. Primary prevention can play an important role in decreasing the incidence of CAD in diabetic patients. Aggressive treatment of hyperlipidemia and hypertension is essential. Recent knowledge about the protective effects of aspirin, statins, angiotension converting enzyme inhibitors, and glitazones in the diabetic patients, if used appropriately will go a long way in primary and secondary prevention of CAD in patients with diabetes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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