Biological link between diabetes and heart disease found

Researchers from the UC Davis Health System have discovered a biological link between diabetes and heart disease, which may explain why diabetes sufferers have an increased risk for heart disease. This is according to a study published in the journal Nature.

The researchers found that when blood sugars are abnormally high (hyperglycemia), this activates a biological pathway that causes irregular heartbeats - a condition called cardiac arrhythmia - that is linked to heart failure and sudden cardiac death.

According to the World Heart Federation, people who suffer from diabetes are two to four times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease, compared with people who do not have diabetes.

The American Heart Association says that around 65% of diabetes sufferers die from heart disease or stroke, emphasizing the need for new research looking at links between the conditions.

For this study, UC Davis researchers, alongside collaborators at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, conducted a series of experiments to determine any biological reasons as to why diabetes sufferers are at higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

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