Washington: The combination of type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease can be deadly, suggests a new study.
The global study led by a physician from UConn Health found that patients with Type 2 diabetes admitted into the hospital for congestive heart failure face a one in four chance of dying over the next 18 months.
The findings paint a much grimmer picture of the outcome for diabetes patients with severe heart disease than was previously known.
"Type 2 diabetes accompanied by an acute coronary syndrome needs much more attention, especially in order to prevent yet another major cardiac event," says Principal Investigator Dr. William B. White.
Patients with type 2 diabetes have two to three times the heart disease risk of the general population.
This is partly because obesity and other illnesses such as hypertension and elevated cholesterol contribute to both diseases, but there are concerns that some of the medications that help control blood sugar may also damage the heart.
Even insulin, a hormone that healthy people make naturally but some patients with type 2 diabetes often need as a medication, can contribute to heart disease.
Because of the diabetes-heart disease link, all new diabetes drugs are now required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to undergo formal testing for their impact on heart and stroke outcomes.
White emphasizes that congestive heart failure is by no means inevitable for people with type 2 diabetes but the problem should be receiving a great deal more attention.
According to White, in all future studies of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, heart failure outcomes should receive the same amount of scrutiny as stroke, heart attack and unstable angina.
The results are published online in the ADA journal Diabetes Care.