High Blood Pressure Increases Risk of Type 2 Diabetes by 60 Percent. By Jack Woodfield (ANA)
People with high blood pressure are nearly 60 per cent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, according to a new study from Oxford University.
The researchers examined the health records of four million people, but they were unable to confirm a causal link between high blood pressure and diabetes.
All participants involved in the study were free of cardiovascular disease and diabetes at baseline. The researchers also analysed 30 previous studies examining diabetes risk factors.
High blood pressure was linked to the onset of diabetes in men, women and people of varying ages. Furthermore, people who were overweight, obese or of normal weight were observed to be at risk, but the strength of the association between high blood pressure and diabetes declined with increased BMI and age.
Study author Professor Kazem Rahimi, deputy director of the George Institute for Global Health UK said: "This is potentially a game changer in the understanding and treatment of diabetes."
Rahimi added, though, that further research needs to be done to prove a causal link, while there should also be additional investigations to assess if lowering blood pressure could prevent type 2 diabetes.
"We can't say for certain that one causes the other, but this study helps to connect the dots, showing that if you have high blood pressure there is a significantly greater chance of developing diabetes," said Rahimi.
"Understanding the link will help us better communicate risks to patients and can provide another motivation for patients and doctors to aim for tight blood pressure control."
The findings were published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This title should reflect that a link was found between high blood pressure and a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, but not that a causal link exists between the two.