More and more young adults are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and now research shows this diagnosis puts these young people at a greater risk for a heart attack and stroke. Specifically, the research shows younger adults diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are 14-times more likely to suffer a heart attack and 30-times more likely to suffer a stroke than their peers without diabetes.
"This means that huge numbers of people are going to get heart disease, heart attacks and strokes years, sometimes even decades, before they should," says researchers.
Researchers compared outcomes of more than 7,800 adults who were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes between 1996 and 1998. More than 6,200 of the participants were 45 years or older and 1,600 were under the age of 45. Researchers then used incidence models to estimate future complications.
The study shows people with early onset type 2 diabetes are 80-percent more likely to need insulin therapy than those who get diabetes later in life. Researchers also report those who are diagnosed with diabetes at a young age are significantly more obese on average than those diagnosed later in life. As for heart attack and stroke risk, researchers say young women account for nearly all the increase in heart attack risk, while young men are twice as likely to suffer a stroke as young women.
Researchers say more research is needed to understand the clinical course of type 2 diabetes and how it differs by the age of onset. However, researchers of the study say it's clear diabetes at a young age is a very serious health problem.
The CDC is predicting that at least one out of every three Americans born after 2000 are going to develop diabetes, and the trend of diabetes affecting young adults and even teenagers is going to continue.