Health officials are being urged to be more proactive in preventing younger people from developing type 2 diabetes.
University of Glasgow research has found those who are diagnosed before their 40s are at higher risk of dying from a cardiovascular condition compared to those of a similar age without diabetes.
The excess risks were more pronounced among younger women, who showed higher excess cardiovascular disease and mortality risks than men in most of the categories reviewed.
The study team also identified that the excess risk for death, irrespective of cause, for people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at age 80 or older decreased significantly, and was actually the same as those of a similar age without diabetes.
Lead study author Professor Naveed Sattar said: “Our study shows the differences in excess diabetes risk are tied to how old the person is when they are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
“This suggests we need to be more aggressive in controlling risk factors in younger type 2 diabetes populations and especially in women. And, far less effort and resources could be spent screening people 80 and older for type 2 diabetes unless symptoms are present.”
People with type 2 diabetes were compared to those without the condition in the trial, which involved a review of health data from 1,575,108 people between 1998-2014, of which 318,083 had type 2 diabetes.
Their results found those who had been diagnosed with type 2 before the age of 40 had the greatest chance of dying or experiencing a stroke, heart attack or heart failure.
Prof Sattar added: “Furthermore, our work could also be used to encourage middle-aged people at elevated diabetes risk to adopt lifestyle changes to delay their diabetes by several years.”
Lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy, real-food diet can help to lower type 2 diabetes risk, which has been evidenced by users of our Low Carb Program. Last week was Type 2 Diabetes Prevention Week and we highlighted some inspirational members of the diabetes community who prevented type 2 diabetes development after having had higher than normal blood glucose levels.
The findings have been published in the journal Circulation.