Lipid-Lowering Therapy Saves Lives for People with Type 1

We don’t talk enough about heart health for Type 1 diabetes, despite the fact that cardiovascular problems are a leading cause of death for people with Type 1.

However, a new study may have demonstrated a good strategy to prevent heart disease in people with Type 1 diabetes. Researchers behind a large Swedish-based study found that participants with Type 1 diabetes on a lipid-lowering therapy reduced their risk for heart disease by 50 percent.

According to a Healio Endocrine Today report, researchers analyzed two years of data from over 24,000 people with Type 1 diabetes using the Swedish National Diabetes Register. Of those, only 5,387 were put on lipid-lowering therapy, a mixture of dietary interventions and medication.

Lower levels of lipids in the body resulted in lowered cholesterol and overall improved heart health. In the lipid-reducing therapy group, there were 9.9 deaths per every 1,000 people due to cardiovascular disease; in the untreated group there were 13.2 deaths for every 1,000 people. Researchers hope the results of this study will encourage early lipid control therapy to prevent future cardiovascular problems in people with Type 1 diabetes.

People with diabetes are more prone to cardiovascular problems because high blood sugar levels stress the heart. Lipids are fatty substances in the blood which affect your cholesterol levels. While your body needs small amount of lipids to function, an excess of lipids can cause fat deposits in your artery walls.

Everyone with Type 1, even those who are young and/or have good A1C scores, should be regularly screened for possible cardiovascular issues. Many issues, like high cholesterol levels, can be treated with dietary changes or medication before becoming serious if diagnosed in time.

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Courtney Major currently attends Emerson College where she majors in Writing, Literature, and Publishing with a minor in Marketing Communications.

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