Cardiovascular artery disease and diabetes mellitus
Project conducted by researcher Eirik Wilberg Rebnord
Patients with diabetes mellitus are at particularly high risk of being affected by myocardial infarction and cardiac death.
The diagnosis of diabetes is made by detection of elevated blood glucose or glycosylated hemoglobin ( HbA1c ), which reflects average blood glucose in recent months and therefore often referred to as long-term blood sugar. High HbA1c has been associated with increased risk of myocardial infarction and death from diabetes, but it is also shown that an aggressive treatment to diabetes and lowering of HbA1c increase mortality as well as the risk of heart rhythm disorders. Low values of HbA1c has also been linked to increased the risk of death in general population, but it is unclear whether the increased mortality is caused by heart.
We have now followed up more than 4,000 cardiovascular artery disease patients who were assessed for angina pectoris about 10 years ago. Data was collected on dietary habits among 2400 participants using questionnaire. Preliminary results show that patients with diabetes and who had particularly low HbA1c values had an increased risk of subsequent myocardial infarction and cardiac death. The data also suggests that a high intake of omega 3 in the diet associated with high risk of myocardial infarction, particularly in those who also had elevated fats (triglycerides) in the blood. This is worrisome because such patients today often recommend to use omega-3 supplements. A high intake of omega-6 was protective in these patients without diabetes and low A1C, while omega-3 was protective in those with diabetes.
Therefore, our preliminary analysis suggests that the effect of polyunsaturated fat may vary. The results could have implications for future prevention and monitoring of patients with heart disease and whether they should have individualized dietary advice (Eirik Wilberg Rebnord).