People with diabetes are twice as likely to develop high blood pressure as the general population, according to researchers at the University of California at San Diego.

The scientists believe that body fat distribution and the presence of extra insulin in the blood, caused by rising levels of glucose, play an important role in the correlation between diabetes and high blood pressure."About 2.5 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with both hypertension (high blood pressure) and diabetes," noted Ann Setzer of Boehringer Mannheim Corp., maker of a portable meter that allows diabetics to test their blood sugar levels at home.

"If hypertension and blood sugar levels aren't controlled, they can contribute to such devastating complications as heart attack, stroke and kidney and eye disease."