Diabetes ups heart attack death risk

People with diabetes are significantly more likely to die from the effects of a heart attack compared to those without the condition, a new study suggests.

UK researchers looked at 700,000 people who had been admitted to hospital as a result of a heart attack between 2003 and 2013. Of these, 121,000 had diabetes.

The study found that when other factors were taken into account, such as age, gender and other illnesses, there were still big differences in survival rates between people with diabetes and people without the condition.

Compared to those who did not have diabetes, those with diabetes were 56% more likely to have died if they had suffered an ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), which is a type of heart attack that occurs when the coronary artery is completely blocked.

People with diabetes were also 39% more likely to have died if they had suffered a non-ST elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI). This occurs when the coronary artery is partially blocked.

"These results provide robust evidence that diabetes is a significant long-term population burden among patients who have had a heart attack.

"Although these days people are more likely than ever to survive a heart attack, we need to place greater focus on the long-term effects of diabetes in heart attack survivors," commented lead researcher, Dr Chris Gale, of the University of Leeds.

He said that the next step in this research is to figure out exactly what it is about having diabetes that increases the risk of death after a heart attack.

Details of these findings are published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.


[Posted: Thu 23/06/2016]

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