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Faster heart rates linked to diabetes

28 May 2015 08:57

A new link has been made between faster heart rates and diabetes

A new link has been made between faster heart rates and diabetes

People with faster heart rates are more at risk of suffering from diabetes than those with hearts that beat normally, according to a new study.

Scientists at Pennsylvania State University say doctors can spot potential cases of diabetes by measuring the heart rates of patients when they are at rest.

They also found that the faster a person's heart rate, the lower their fasting levels of blood sugar tend to be.

Diabetes patients travelling abroad can arrange specialist diabetes travel insurance to cover the cost of any treatment they need while they are overseas.

Higher risk

People with hearts that beat faster than normal are more likely to develop pre-diabetes and diabetes, according to Dr Xiang Gao.

For every extra 10 beats a minute of their heart, the likelihood of developing the disease increases by 23%, Dr Gao says.

The expert says the increased risk is the same as those caused by a 3kg per square metre lift in the body mass index of a patient.

Four-year study

The research, that involved 73,357 Chinese adults working for Kailuan Coal Co Ltd, lasted four years and the results were unveiled in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

The scientists also used information from seven other research projects that took in data from around 100,000 people.

Dr Gao says the figures show that the participants with faster heart rates were 59% more likely to suffer from diabetes than those whose heart rates were normal.

During the four years after the study began, there were 17,463 pre-diabetes cases and 4,649 people went on to develop diabetes.

Because the participants all worked for the coal mining firm, the data cannot be seen as a representation of the population as a whole, but when mixed with the figures from the other studies the researchers found a similar link between heart rates and diabetes.