Why Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome Matter

The ultimate impact on health of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome is through cardiovascular disease. The cluster of features associated with type 2 diabetes or the metabolic syndrome is a highly potent recipe for heart disease and stroke. People with type 2 diabetes or the metabolic syndrome have at least a two-to fivefold increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The relative risks are even higher in women with diabetes compared with their counterparts who are nondiabetic. In addition, in the United States, type 2 diabetes is the major cause of blindness, kidney failure, amputations, and neurological complications, such as impotence. Type 2 diabetes decreases life span by an average of seven to twelve years.

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