September 6, 2017
The international team, which was led by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, accounts for the findings in a paper published in the journal Nature Genetics.
Around 95 percent of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes, which is a disease that develops when the body makes enough insulin but its cells lose the ability to use it to absorb blood sugar and convert it into energy.
In the United States, where it is the seventh leading cause of death, there are around 30.3 millionadults with diabetes, including 25 percent of people who do not know that they have it.
Diabetes and heart disease
The number of adult diabetes cases has more than tripled in the U.S. in the past 20 years, primarily as a result of an aging population and rising levels of obesity.
Worldwide, the prevalence of diabetes among adults has gone up from 4.7 percent in 1980 to 8.5 percent in 2014.
Diabetes is a known risk factor for heart disease, which is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S., where around 630,000 people die of the disease every year.
Over half of people who die from heart disease in the U.S. die of coronary heart disease, which is caused by coronary artery disease, a condition wherein the heart’s arteries get narrower due to plaque buildup.
In their study paper, the researchers explain that patients with type 2 diabetes are twice as likely to die of coronary heart disease as patients without it. However, the genetic and molecular mechanisms that lead to this higher risk are poorly understood.