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Cardiac Abnormalities Seen in Young Females with Poor Diabetes Control

Posted: Tuesday, May 26, 2009

According to the results of a new study, adolescent girls with poorly controlled Type 2 diabetes are more likely to have structural and functional cardiac abnormalities than are their healthy peers or even girls with Type 1 diabetes.

From the results of the published study, Dr. Gillian A. Whalley, from The University of Auckland, New Zealand, and co-researchers concluded that the study "highlights the potential high cardiovascular risk occurring in adolescent Type 2 diabetes," even though the disease has been present for just a few years.

The findings are based on a study of 8 girls with Type 2 diabetes and 11 with Type 1 disease who were drawn from a hospital diabetes service. The nondiabetic control group included 9 lean and 11 overweight girls.

Although the groups were similar in age and height, girls with Type 2 diabetes weighed more than the other girls. On average, Type 2 diabetics weighed 107.2 kg compared with 80.6 kg in non-diabetic overweight controls, the group with the next highest weight.

Echocardiography revealed that the left ventricular dimensions and left ventricular mass were greater in the Type 2 diabetics than in the other groups, a finding that remained after indexed to height, the authors note.

Both diabetic groups showed impaired diastolic filling, but only the Type 2 group had reduced systolic longitudinal function, the report indicates.

Only 1 of the 8 girls (12%) with Type 2 diabetes had no cardiac abnormalities. The prevalence of left ventricular dilation, elevated left ventricular mass, and left atrial dilation in this group were 63% (5 of 8), 75% (6 of 8), and 38% (3 of 8), respectively. By comparison, in the lean healthy and Type 1 diabetic groups, abnormalities were almost non-existent, and even in the overweight control group, many girls had no cardiac abnormalities.

"This study is the first to demonstrate that important cardiac abnormalities occur early in adolescent-onset Type 2 diabetes and highlights the potential for higher cardiovascular risk," the authors conclude. "If left unchecked, it is likely that these changes will lead to the development of clinically overt cardiovascular disease."

Source: Diabetes In Control: Diabetes Care May, 2009;32:883-888.

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