Bigger Hearts Are Found Early in Type 1 Diabetes
Early signs of changes in the heart are seen in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes,as indicated by the results of a study reported in Diabetes Care (August 2004). Thestudy included 80 participants with diabetes and 52 age-matched participants. Using ultrasoundto examine the participants' hearts, the researchers determined that the wall of theleft ventricle was thicker in diabetic girls than in the nondiabetic group. Also, the hearts ofthe diabetic girls showed delayed relaxation between heartbeats.
The results were not the same among boys. The only difference between those with andwithout diabetes was in the relaxation time. The researchers' theory is that, in children, "perhapsalready a small increase in blood glucose is sufficient to initiate changes in the cardiovascularsystem," thus underscoring the importance of long-term blood sugarcontrol.