Scientists aim to find out why young type 2 diabetics develop heart problems

by Barbara Hewitt on December 12, 2014

New research is beginning in the UK to look at why young people with type 2 diabetes develop heart disease.

The study, led by a research team at Leicester’s Hospitals is using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to try to determine what causes early heart failure in younger diabetic adults.

Young people

The research will try to determine what causes early heart failure in younger diabetic adults

The research team, led by Dr. Gerry McCann, consultant cardiologist at Leicester’s Hospitals and Professor Melanie Davies, director of the Diabetes Centre and Professor of Diabetes Medicine at the University of Leicester, will look at 100 youngster for the study.

It will randomly allocate patients to different treatment groups. The first group will receive optimal blood sugar lowering treatment and lifestyle advice. The second, a very low calorie diet and the third, moderate intensity exercise training.

The research team hope that conducting MRI scans throughout this period will indicate whether early heart damage can be completely reversed.

‘Patients with diabetes are four times more likely to develop heart failure and other circulation problems. Younger diabetics have the greatest life time risk of complications and death,’ said McCann.

‘It is essential that we develop tools to diagnose heart failure early and effective treatments to prevent this serious life threatening condition progressing. It is hoped that by using the evidence produced by the MRI scans to compare the different treatment methods, it will lead to better treatments that prevent hospitalisation with heart failure and premature deaths,’ he explained.

Davies pointed out that there has been a dramatic increase in the numbers of people developing type 2 diabetes at a younger age. ‘Our previous work has shown that younger people already have evidence of heart damage. We want to see if we can intervene and reverse these really worrying changes,’ she explained.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the Community and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please see your doctor before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.

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