Increased risk of myocardial infarction and diabetes in East Germany

April 02, 2008

More people suffer from overweight, high blood pressure and metabolic disturbances in East Germany than in West Germany. This is the result of a study with almost 36 000 patients, published in the current edition of the Deutsches Ärzteblatt International (Dtsch Arztebl Int 2008; 105[12]: 207-13).

(http://www.aerzteblatt-international.de/v4/archiv/pdf.asp?id=59482)

The so-called metabolic syndrome describes a typical constellation of overweight, high blood pressure, and abnormal sugar and fat metabolism. This increases the risk of diabetes mellitus and of cardiovascular disease.

The study shows that patients with the metabolic syndrome are more often treated in general practices in East than in West Germany. In Germany as a whole, 22.7% of men and 18% of women exhibit the metabolic syndrome. The syndrome is most frequent in Saxony-Anhalt, where it affects 25% of patients in primary care. The risk of coronary heart disease is the same in all German states, although diabetes is more frequent in East Germany. The authors advocate specific prophylactic measures in accordance with regional needs and socioeconomic differences within the population.
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Deutsches Aerzteblatt International

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