If you’re a young adult with prediabetes, you may already know you have a greater than average risk of full-blown diabetes. But you could also be at increased risk for a heart attack, new research shows.
“After taking into account various influencing and modifying factors, we found that young adults with prediabetes had 1.7 times higher chances of being hospitalized for a heart attack compared to their peers without prediabetes,” says Dr. Akhil Jain, co-author of a new study. He’s a resident physician at Mercy Catholic Medical Center in Darby, Pa.
What is prediabetes?
People with prediabetes have higher-than-normal blood sugar levels, and prediabetes can often lead to type 2 diabetes.
More than one-third of Americans 18 or older (88 million) have prediabetes, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Nearly 29 million of them are under 45 years old.
Blacks are at a higher risk of developing prediabetes than non-Hispanic whites, especially if type 2 diabetes runs in their family. Approximately 36 percent of Blacks have prediabetes, according to The Wellness Coalition.
In this study, the researchers analyzed nationwide data on more than 7.8 million heart attack-related hospitalizations among adults ages 18-44 in 2018.
About 0.4% of the patients had blood sugar levels indicating prediabetes. Heart attack rates were 2.15% among those with prediabetes, compared to 0.3% among those with normal blood sugar levels.
Young adults with prediabetes were more likely than those without prediabetes to have high cholesterol (about 68% vs. around 47%, respectively) and obesity (about 49% vs. almost 26%, respectively).
Compared to those without prediabetes, those with prediabetes were more likely to be