Cardiovascular Disease In Navajo Indians With Type 2 Diabetes
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Cardiovascular Disease In Navajo Indians With Type 2 Diabetes

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    Public Health Rep
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    Rates of both type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease have risen sharply in recent years among Navajo Indians, the largest reservation-based American Indian tribe, but the association between the two conditions is not entirely clear. Rates of cardiovascular disease and some possible associations in several hundred diabetic and non-diabetic Navajos were estimated. Nearly one-third (30.9 percent) of those with diabetes had formal diagnoses of cardiovascular disease--25.3 percent had heart disease, 4.4 percent had cerebrovascular disease, and 4.1 percent had peripheral vascular disease. (The percentages exceed the total because some people had more than one diagnosis. Age-adjusted rates were 5.2 times those of nondiabetics for heart disease, 10.2 times for cerebrovascular disease, and 6.8 times for peripheral vascular disease. Accentuation of risk was most marked in young diabetics and in female diabetics. Hypertensive diabetics had a twofold increase in heart disease and more than a fivefold increase in cerebral and peripheral vascular disease over nonhypertensive diabetics. Age, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and albumenuria were independent risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Triglyceride levels or body weight were not. Male sex and diabetes duration were independent risk factors for cerebral and peripheral vascular disease but not for heart disease. In view of the impressive segregation of cardiovascular disease in the diabetic Navajo population, the prevention of diabetes through population-based health promotion seems basic to its containment. Over the short term, vigorous treatment of hypertension in subjects who are already diabetic is mandatory.
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