Jerry L. Nadler
between diabetes and heart disease being studied
at the U.Va. Health System are trying to determine why so many
people with diabetes also suffer from heart disease. Dr. Jerry
L. Nadler, chief of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism,
and his colleagues have been awarded nearly $1 million from the
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and the Juvenile Diabetes
Foundation to examine the link between the two diseases.
"Diabetes is the third leading cause of heart disease in
this country, and heart disease is the leading cause of death
among people with diabetes, so this is a very important field
of study. We hope that a better understanding of this relationship
will in time lead to significant treatment breakthroughs,"
to the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes are
up to four times more likely to develop heart disease, and are
more likely to die from it, than those without diabetes. So far,
the reasons for the strong correlation remain unclear.
and his colleagues are studying whether high blood sugar or glucose,
the hallmark of uncontrolled diabetes, may precipitate the early
stages of heart disease. Their research will try to isolate the
role elevated glucose levels play in damaging cells that line
the blood vessels, ultimately causing narrowing of the arteries,
called atherosclerosis. They are also evaluating the role impaired
insulin action, known as "insulin-resistance," plays
in causing heart disease in people with diabetes. Findings may
eventually lead to new treatments to reduce the incidence and
effects of heart disease in people with diabetes.
is a metabolic disorder that affects the body's ability to regulate
glucose levels. The ADA estimates 16 million Americans have diabetes.
Symptoms may include extreme thirst, frequent urination, blurry
vision, unexplained weight loss and fatigue. In addition to heart
disease, diabetes can lead to other severe complications, such
as blindness, kidney disease and stroke.