Better Control of Diabetes Could Reduce Stroke

THURSDAY, Feb. 8 (HealthDay News) -- Diabetes risk factors are still not well-controlled in patients, even though the disease increases their stroke risk, a new study finds.

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston, analyzed data on nearly 50,000 stroke patients with diabetes.

They found that these patients had high rates of obesity, high blood pressure, cholesterol disorders, and poor control of blood sugar at the time of the stroke.

The data came from the American Stroke Association's Get With the Guidelines - Stroke program. The findings are expected to be presented Wednesday at the American Stroke Association's annual meeting, in San Francisco.

Patients with undiagnosed diabetes when their stroke occurred had poorer control of their diabetes risk factors than patients who'd been diagnosed with diabetes prior to their stroke, the researchers said.

Stroke patients with undiagnosed diabetes may be at greater risk of recurrent stroke and cardiovascular complications, the study authors warned.

"There are good evidence-based guidelines for diagnosing and treating risk factors for diabetes, but those guidelines have thus far not translated into better risk factor management," Dr. Lee Schwamm, MGH's vice chairman of neurology and director of acute stroke services, said in a prepared statement.

"These results show that more emphasis is needed on early diagnosis of diabetes and management of risk factors in people who have diabetes," Schwamm said.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: American Stroke Association, news release, Feb. 7, 2007

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