(HealthDay News) — Prediabetes appears to be a risk factor for increased incidence of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE), according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology, held virtually from May 15 to 17.

Adrian Michel, M.D., from Beaumont Health in Royal Oak, Michigan, and colleagues followed 25,829 patients who had either prediabetes (12,691 individuals) or normal hemoglobin A1c levels (13,138 individuals [control group]) for 14 years to evaluate the role of prediabetes in the development of cardiovascular disease.

The researchers found that the incidence of MACE in the prediabetes group (17.97%) was significantly higher than MACE incidence in the control group (11.01%). This finding remained significant even after accounting for confounding factors such as age, gender, body mass index, blood pressure, cholesterol, sleep apnea, smoking status, and peripheral artery disease.

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“In general, we tend to treat prediabetes as no big deal. But we found that prediabetes itself can significantly boost someone’s chance of having a major cardiovascular event, even if they never progress to having diabetes,” Michel said in a statement. “Instead of preventing diabetes, we need to shift focus and prevent prediabetes.”

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