Insulin builds up in the blood when cells fail to respond to the hormone's signal to take up glucose—as occurs in type II, or adult-onset, diabetes. Scientists have known for decades that people with such insulin resistance face an increased risk of heart disease (SN: 5/25/96, p. 324). It goes beyond the dangers attributable to factors such as high blood pressure or elevated cholesterol. Researchers now report that the insulin buildup may prevent these people from breaking down blood clots efficiently and so contribute to increased heart-attack risk.
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