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Heart disease could hide diabetes

A condition previously thought of as an indicator for heart disease could in fact be a hidden symptom of diabetes, a study has shown.

Researchers at the University of Warwick led by Dr Saverio Stranges, associate professor of cardiovascular epidemiology, looked into a type of toxic effect which causes cell damage in the body called oxidative stress.

They found high levels of oxidative stress in people with coronary heart disease, previously thought to be a marker of the heart condition, could indicate a condition of glucose abnormality such as type 2 diabetes.

Dr Stranges' team found that oxidative stress levels were low in people who had coronary heart disease but did not suffer from type 2 diabetes. Further studies showed heart disease suffers with high levels also had overt type 2 diabetes.

Dr Stranges said: "The results were intriguing. We expected to find high levels of oxidative stress in people with a clinical heart condition, such as myocardial infarction, and people with diabetes. As we thought, the levels were high for diabetics, but there were some discrepancies for people with heart disease.

"Our findings suggest the observed associations of increased oxidative stress in individuals with heart disease may be dependent on underlying abnormalities in glucose metabolism."

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University of Warwick

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