People with diabetes are at a higher risk of death from heart diseases. Almost 58 percent of deaths among people with type 2 diabetes are due to cardiovascular events, suggests a leading Mexican expert.
"Patients who live with this disease have a greater risk of premature death or disability derived from cardiovascular events," Hector Sanchez Mijangos, President of the Mexican Diabetes Federation, told Efe news.
The specialist said that the high glucose levels associated with diabetes damage blood vessels, resulting in problems with blood pressure and vision, joint pain and other maladies.
Mexico's Health Secretariat has found that while roughly 13 million inhabitants of the Aztec nation are living with diabetes, only half of those afflicted know they have the disease.
In 2015 alone, according to Mijangos, there were more than 98,000 premature deaths in Mexico related to diabetes and the average age of those who died was 66.7 years old.
"This is regrettable, because these people could have lived roughly another 15 years," he said.
According to the 2012 National Health and Nutrition Survey, only 25 percent of Mexicans suffering from diabetes are managing their condition adequately.
That figure illustrates "why our greatest challenge continues to be access and adherence to treatment," Mijangos said.
To improve treatment options, Mexican health authorities in January issued an approval for the use of canagliflozin, a drug that helps reduce the amount of blood glucose reabsorbed by the kidneys, which in turns causes more glucose to be eliminated through urination.
"With this medicine, a person can lose 100 milligrams of glucose per day as well as about 400 kilocalories (4,000 calories) a day, which also helps with weight loss," Mijangos said.
The medicine likewise helps lower the amount of sodium in the body and reduce triglyceride levels and blood pressure.
A scientific trial involving more than 10,000 patients worldwide showed that when combined with conventional treatment, canagliflozin can reduce the incidence of cardiovascular events by up to 18 percent.