American Heart Association Tells Doctors to Get More Aggressive on Diabetes

| Nov 1, 1999

Better late than never! The American Heart Association (AHA) has finally classified diabetes as a "major modifiable risk factor" for the risk of heart attacks and stroke.

According to the September 6 issue of The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, officials at the AHA say they decided to list diabetes as a major risk factor because of the large number of people who have diabetes and the rising incidence of the disease. The AHA officially proclaimed that people with diabetes have a three-fold increased risk of dying of stroke and are more prone to heart failure, kidney failure and atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries).

Scott Grundy, lead author of the AHA's official statement on diabetes as a risk factor, is calling on all physicians to "get more aggressive in controlling these risk factors in patients with diabetes."

For more than 30 years, medical science has known that people with diabetes have an increased risk of stroke and heart attacks. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel is calling the AHA's announcement the "equivalent of officially declaring war decades after the first shot was fired."

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