Treating diabetes early could also help reduce heart disease risk

Washington: Two treatments that slow the development of diabetes may also protect people from heart disease, a new study suggests.

Researchers examined the effect that making intensive lifestyle changes or taking the medication metformin had on cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

The study, part of the National Institutes of Health`s Diabetes Prevention Program, found that both treatments induced positive changes in the level of particles that carry cholesterol and triglycerides through the blood stream.

These changes could lower the chances of plaque building up in blood vessels.

"Cardiovascular disease is the most significant cause of death and disability in people with diabetes," the study`s lead author, Ronald Goldberg, MD, of the University of Miami`s Miller School of Medicine, said.

"Our findings demonstrate that the same therapies used to slow the onset of diabetes also may help allay the risk of heart disease," he said.

The study is set to be published in The Endocrine Society`s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (JCEM).