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A healthy lifestyle mitigates the risk of heart disease related to type 2 diabetes: a prospective nested case–control study in a nationwide Swedish twin cohort – published online 10/11/2020

yang GA

Rongrong Yang, Hui Xu, Nancy L. Pedersen, Xuerui Li, Jing Yu, Cuiping Bao, Xiuying Qi, Weili Xu

To date, epidemiological studies have shown that type 2 diabetes increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, which includes coronary heart disease and stroke. However, it is still unclear whether type 2 diabetes is specifically associated with the risk of heart disease and its subtypes, and whether a healthy lifestyle could reduce the risk of heart disease related to type 2 diabetes. In this issue, Yang, Xu et al (https://doi.org/10.1007/s00125-020-05324-z) report that type 2 diabetes is associated with a more than fourfold increased risk of heart disease, including coronary heart disease, cardiac arrhythmias and heart failure. Genetic and early-life familial environmental background did not account for the association between type 2 diabetes and heart disease. However, findings suggested that adulthood lifestyle factors were important in this association: patients with type 2 diabetes who maintained a healthy lifestyle (consisting of being a non-smoker, no/mild alcohol consumption, regular physical activity and not being overweight) had a significantly lower risk of heart disease than those with an unfavourable lifestyle. The authors concluded that these findings highlight the importance of a healthy lifestyle in the prevention of heart disease among individuals with type 2 diabetes.

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