BusinessWeek - Mouse Study Sheds Light on Diabetes-Heart Disease Link


A potential link between diabetes and a heightened risk of heart disease and sudden cardiac death has been spotted by researchers studying mice. In the new study, published in the June 24 issue of the journal Neuron, the investigators found that high blood sugar prevents critical communication between the brain and the autonomic nervous system, which controls involuntary activities in the body. "Diseases, such as diabetes, that disturb the function of the autonomic nervous system cause a wide range of abnormalities that include poor control of blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmias and digestive problems," senior author Dr. Ellis Cooper, of McGill University in Montreal, explained in a news release from the journal's publisher. "In most people with diabetes, the malfunction of the autonomic nervous system adversely affects their quality of life and shortens life expectancy."