Early biomarker warning of heart disease for diabetic patients

Dr. Jolanta Weaver. Photo credit: Newcastle University

New research has shown that people with type 1 diabetes often have characteristics of premature heart disease caused by the condition before they are even diagnosed.

Early markers for this heart disease could be used to ensure that once patients are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, patients receive targeted therapies to slow or even stop cardiovascular problems.

Findings, published today in Stem Cell Research and Therapy, show that tiny pieces of genetic material called miR-424-5p increased weight in early stages of heart disease – these could specifically help reduce inflammation to offset increased risk.

Early heart disease

Dr. Jolanta Weaver of Newcastle University Medical School said: “We were surprised that early heart disease could start in the pre-diabetes stage before a diagnosis of type 1 is made.

“Large clinical studies have shown that cardiovascular problems reduce the life expectancy of people with type 1 diabetes by 13 years, so this problem in patients needs to be addressed as soon as possible.

“Our data show that miR-424-5p can be used as a biomarker for early heart disease and has the potential to define additional therapeutic options to help patients with type 1 diabetes.

“This is an exciting step forward in understanding the development of heart disease in patients with type 1 diabetes and patients should look forward to active research in the area.”

There are almost 5 million people in the UK with diabetes, 10% of whom have type 1 diabetes. The disease occurs when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when it cannot produce insulin at all, causing blood sugar levels to be too high.

The scientists analyzed inflammation, miR-424-5p and vascular stem cells in the blood in well-controlled patients with type 1 diabetes and compared them with a healthy control group.

Samples were taken from all participants after an overnight fast. A number of clinical and laboratory tests were performed, including whole blood count, liver function, HbA1c, and body mass index.

The results of the study highlighted that despite good diabetes control, type 1 diabetes is characterized by significant inflammation, reduced vascular stem cells, increased levels of miR-424-5p, and other characteristics of premature heart disease.

Act early

Currently, type 1 diabetics at risk for heart disease are offered statins and blood pressure pills to reduce their risk. However, this is rarely done at the beginning of their diagnosis.

Dr. Weaver added, “Our data offers the opportunity to find new ways to influence heart disease development before it is too late for the patient.

“The earlier we can take action against cardiovascular diseases, the better the quality of life for those affected.”

Future studies will focus on the importance of miR-424-5p monitoring for premature heart disease in diabetic patients and develop new targeted treatments.

“Upregulated anti-angiogenic miR-424-5p in type 1 diabetes (model for subclinical cardiovascular disease) correlates with endothelial progenitor cells, CXCR1 / 2 and other parameters of vascular health,” published in Stem Cell Research & Therapy.

Extreme blood sugar fluctuations in people with type 2 diabetes can increase the risk of heart disease

More information:
Alice Tamara et al. Upregulated anti-angiogenic miR-424-5p in type 1 diabetes (model for subclinical cardiovascular diseases) correlates with endothelial progenitor cells, CXCR1 / 2 and other parameters of vascular health, stem cell research and therapy (2021). DOI: 10.1186 / s13287-021-02332-7 Provided by Newcastle University

Quote: Early biomarker warning of heart disease in diabetics (2021, May 14), accessed on May 14, 2021 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-05-early-biomarker-heart-disease-diabetic.html

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