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After Russert’s Death, Talk Focuses on Diabetic Hearts

June 17, 2008 04:25 PM
by Cara McDonough
New research identifies better ways for those with type 2 diabetes to avoid heart attacks and strokes.

30-Second Summary

Since “Meet the Press” host Tim Russert died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 58 last week, many media outlets have focused on how others can avoid the same fate.

The New York Times reports that “If there is any lesson in his death … it is a reminder that heart disease can be silent, and that people, especially those with known risk factors, should pay attention to diet, blood pressure, weight and exercise—even if they are feeling fine.”

Some reports state that Russert’s doctors said he had type 2 diabetes. Although the disease may not have been his immediate cause of death, diabetics like Russert are urged to pay particular attention to heart health. Now, new research gives them even more reason for them to do so.

According to a story in U.S. News & World Report, cardiovascular problems account for about two-thirds of deaths in people with type 2 diabetes, and it has long been thought that reducing blood-sugar levels is best for prevention of cardiovascular disease.

But a trio of recent studies suggests that for those with diabetes, reaching blood pressure and cholesterol goals rather than blood-glucose targets may be more important in preventing heart attack and strokes.

The studies’ results are not a license for diabetics to ignore blood glucose levels, however: “Rather than demonstrating that one type of treatment is more useful than another, these studies show that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution,” says U.S. News & World Report.

Headline Link: Diabetics should focus on cardiovascular health

Background: Russert’s sudden—and surprising—death

Related Topics: Mediterranean diet may prevent type 2 diabetes; Russert remembered

Reference: Diabetes and cardiovascular disease


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