Reducing heart disease risk in people with diabetes

6 November 2013        

Man having a blood glucose meter test

Using a simple urine test, researchers can now identify young people with type 1 diabetes who are at greater risk of developing coronary heart disease (CHD).

We helped fund the study, which could eventually lead to treatments to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease in some teenagers and young people with type 1 diabetes.

Having either type 1 or type 2 diabetes increases your risk of developing coronary heart disease. Research to find ways of reducing that risk is vital, and this is the first study of its kind.

Researchers examined the link between levels of a protein called albumin in the urine of adolescents with type 1 diabetes, and the relative risk of developing CHD. This part of the study was led by the University of Cambridge, but our BHF Professor John Deanfield at University College London has also played a key role in the work.

What's next for this research?

The study will now explore whether prescribing heart meds such as statins and drugs that reduce blood pressure can reduce the risk of CHD in those young people with type 1 diabetes who are most at risk.

Dr Sanjay Thakrar, our Research Advisor, said:

“This exciting early finding shows that we could identify those young people with type 1 diabetes who are most at risk of developing coronary heart disease. The researchers now need to assess whether early treatment with standard heart medication could help to keep these young people’s hearts healthy in the future.”

The research was joint funded with JDRF and Diabetes UK. It was published in the journal Diabetes Care.

Find out more about the study