Children born with heart disease have an increased risk of developing Type-2 diabetes after age 30, says a new study.
The risk appears even higher for those born with a cyanotic congenital heart disease (CHD) condition — one in which patients had a bluish colouration of the skin due to low oxygen content in tissues near the surface of the skin.
“Given the cardiovascular health burden of Type-2 diabetes, attention to its development in CHD survivors is warranted,” said lead author of the study Nicolas Madsen, cardiologist at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in the US.
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“Unfortunately, promoting cardiovascular health isn’t always prioritised with the ageing CHD population,” Madsen noted.
The findings were published online in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
The study was conducted among 5,149 patients in Denmark who were born between 1963 and 1980 and were alive at age 30.
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The most common diagnoses were atrial or ventricular septal defects. These are conditions that allow blood to travel inappropriately between the upper or lower chambers of the heart.
The incidence of diabetes by age 45 was 3.9 per cent for those without cyanotic conditions and eight percent for those who were cyanotic.
This compares to a Type-2 diabetes rate of only 2.8 percent in the general Danish population by the age of 45.
The researchers believe that the increasing risk of Type-2 diabetes for those with CHD may be due to traditional risk factors, such as obesity and a sedentary lifestyle, which have been studied in the ageing CHD population.