Aug. 16 (UPI) -- People with type 2 diabetes can significantly reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease with proper treatment and not smoking, according to a study in Sweden.
In a study published Thursday in The New England Journal of Medicine, researchers at University of Gothenburg in Sweden said the increased risks could be theoretically eliminated.
"This is definitely good news. The study shows that patients with type 2 diabetes with all risk factors within therapeutic target range had an extremely low risk of premature death, heart attack and stroke," author Aidin Rawshani, a doctoral student at the Institute of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy, said in a press release.
Risk factors that can be controlled by medication, and cigarette abstinence, are blood pressure, long-term blood glucose, lipid status, renal function and smoking.
"By optimizing these five risk factors, all of which can be influenced, you can come a long way," Rawshani said. "We have shown that the risks can be greatly reduced, and in some cases may even be eliminated."
Smoking was the most important risk factor for premature death and an elevated blood glucose level was the most dangerous factor for heart attack and stroke.
Researchers analyzed data on 271,174 patients with type 2 diabetes registered in the Swedish National Diabetes Register from 1998-2014 and matched with 1.35 million controls on the basis of age, sex and county. In a median followup of 5.7 years, there were 175,345 deaths.
Individuals with type 2 diabetes have 10 times the risk for heart attack, heart failure and stroke, and five times the risk for premature death compared with the control group.
In some cases, patients with type 2 diabetes have no more than a 10 percent elevated risk of premature death, heart attack and stroke compared with the general population. The risk for heart failure is 45 percent higher among those with type 2 diabetes in those instances.
In addition, the risk of complications, especially heart failure, is greatest among those under 55 years.
"This makes it extra important to check and treat risk factors if you are younger with type 2 diabetes." Rawshani said.