The prevalence of diabetes has reached epidemic proportions in the developed world and is expect to increase to 5.4% by 2025. This has resulted in an unprecedented number of patients experiencing the macro- and micro-vascular complications of diabetes, such as renal, retinal, neurological and cardiac dysfunction. Premature coronary artery disease and cardiac failure are vastly overrepresented in the diabetic population, with significant morbidity and mortality. In fact, the rate of cardiac events in patients with diabetes is equivalent to non-diabetic patients with a previous myocardial infarction. Epidemiological evidence, combined with the results of large scale trials blocking the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) have provided data to support the hypothesis that angiotensin II and its interaction with the metabolic changes associated with diabetes mellitus is responsible for the pathogenesis of many of these complications. This review focuses on the role of the RAS and the development of diabetic cardiac disease.
Keywords: RAS, Angiotensin II, hypertension, ACE inhibitor, congestive cardiac failure, aldosterone, angiotensin receptor blocker, TGF β1
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