Middle-aged diabetics are third more likely to have stroke

Diabetes patients who developed the illness in middle age are almost a third more likely to have a stroke in later life, new study finds

  • Developing type 2 diabetes in 40s or 50s are at higher of stroke in 60s
  • Build-up of sugar and fatty particles in blood vessels causes arteries to narrow
  • Stockholm’s Karolinska Institute analysed records of 33,000 twins born in 1960s

Middle-aged diabetics are almost a third more likely to have a stroke in later life, researchers have discovered.

A study said those who develop type 2 diabetes – linked to obesity – in their 40s or 50s are at a higher risk of stroke after they reach 60.

This is because diabetes triggers a build-up of sugar and fatty particles in blood vessels, which causes arteries supplying the brain with blood to narrow.

The Swedish study has prompted fears that Britain’s obesity epidemic, which has caused an explosion in type 2 diabetes, could cause the number of strokes to soar. Strokes – known as the ‘silent killer’ – affect more than 100,000 people every year in the UK.

 Middle-aged diabetics are almost a third more likely to have a stroke in later life, researchers have discovered. A study said those who develop type 2 diabetes – linked to obesity – in their 40s or 50s are at a higher risk of stroke after they reach 60

Scientists at Stockholm’s Karolinska Institute analysed patient records of 33,000 twins born in the 1960s to see if there was a link between diabetes and strokes.

They found those who developed type 2 diabetes between the ages of 40 and 59 were 30 per cent more likely to have a stroke over the age of 60. They were also twice as likely to suffer from a narrowing of the arteries in their brain – the major cause of strokes.

The researchers compared the twins’ data to rule out any genetic factors that make people more likely to have a stroke. The study, published in the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, said: ‘Our findings highlight the need to control midlife type 2 diabetes to… reduce the incidence of stokes caused by such blockages.’

Diabetes triggers a build-up of sugar and fatty particles in blood vessels, which causes arteries supplying the brain with blood to narrow

Diabetes costs UK taxpayers £14billion annually and has been described as ‘the biggest health crisis of our time’. Of the 4million people in the UK with diabetes, 90 per cent have type 2, which is linked to obesity. Another million people are thought to be unknowingly living with the condition.

Experts have warned that diabetes is now Britain’s biggest health threat, with one in 15 adults having the condition.

Plans for mandatory calorie displays in shops and restaurants were called a ‘cop-out’ by campaigners last night as it emerged they may only apply to a few establishments. Ministers had said all restaurants would display calorie information to try to halve childhood obesity by 2030.

But Diabetes UK said they believed all businesses with less than 250 employees would be exempt – so only the largest chains would have to comply.

They found those who developed type 2 diabetes between the ages of 40 and 59 were 30 per cent more likely to have a stroke over the age of 60. They were also twice as likely to suffer from a narrowing of the arteries in their brain – the major cause of strokes

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