Carotid Artery Disease in Diabetic Patients

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There are two points of view on the interplay between carotid artery disease and diabetes mellitus: Diabetes mellitus has been recognized as one of the main determinants for the presence and progression of asymptomatic and symptomatic carotid artery disease; and carotid intima-media thickness has been defined as a useful tool for risk stratification of this population.

Hyperglycaemia, duration of diabetes, arterial hypertension, cholesterol and inflammatory markers have previously been determined as independent factors for carotid atherosclerosis in diabetes, and aging as its predictor in this population by our own results. This paper focuses on the particularities of risk factors in diabetic patients (especially in type 2) and evidence-based guidelines for the management and risk reduction of these patients with stroke and/or carotid artery disease.

At present, carotid ultrasound is recommended in diabetic patients with cerebrovascular symptoms. Since the prevalence of diabetes increases constantly, we attempt to address refreshment of criteria for screening of carotid artery disease in the diabetic population. It could be recommended for diabetic patients with at least one more risk factors and for diabetic patients above 60 years of age.

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