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Diabetes-related Complications Increase Risk of Stroke

Nov 1, 2013
 

Type 1 diabetes patients were more likely to have had a stroke if they had blood vessel-related kidney and eye damage…. 

The risk of stroke increased as the severity of the complications increased.

People with type 1 diabetes are five times more likely to have a stroke than people who don’t have the disease. Stroke occurs when not enough blood reaches the brain causing the brain cells to die. Some causes can be bleeding in the brain, blood clots or broken blood vessels.

Diabetic nephropathy and retinopathy are conditions that damage the blood vessels of the kidney and retina, respectively. Damage to the blood vessels of the kidney can lead to kidney failure. Damage to the blood vessels in the retina leads to changes in vision and blindness.

Data from 4,083 patients with type 1 diabetes were observed between 1998 and 2010. Researchers found that 4% of the patients had a stroke in that time frame. Patients who had a stroke tended to be older and had had diabetes longer. They also had more severe diabetic nephropathy and retinopathy. If the patient had both complications, the risk of stroke increased 6.1-fold. An early diagnosis of the complications could lead to a decrease in stroke risk.

Practice Pearls: 
  • Type 1 diabetics are 5 times more likely to experience a stroke.
  • Risk of stroke increases as blood vessel-related kidney and eye damage increases.
  • Having both diabetic nephropathy and retinopathy will increase the risk of stroke to 6.1-fold.

Diabetes Care Oct, 2013