Study finds diabetics more likely to die after heart attack

Study finds diabetics more likely to die after heart attack

People who have diabetes are more likely to die if they have a heart attack, a new study suggests.

Researchers in England examined data on 700,000 people admitted to hospital with a heart attack between January 2003 and June 2013. Of these, 121,000 had diabetes.

After taking into account various factors, the researchers from the University of Leeds found that people with diabetes were 56% more likely to have died if they had experienced an ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) heart attack - in which the coronary artery is completely blocked - than those without the condition.

They were 39% more likely to have died if they had a non-ST elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) heart attack - in which the artery is partially blocked - according to the study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

"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," said lead researcher Dr Chris Gale, consultant cardiologist and associate professor at the university's school of medicine.

"The partnership between cardiologists, GPs and diabetologists needs to be strengthened and we need to make sure we are using established medications as effectively as possible among high-risk individuals."

Dr Mike Knapton, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, which funded the study, said: "This research highlights the need to find new ways to prevent coronary heart disease in people with diabetes and develop new treatments to improve survival after a heart attack."

Dr Anna Morris, head of research funding at Diabetes UK, said: "While researchers tackle this issue, we know that managing diabetes effectively can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. This includes eating healthily, keeping active and taking medications as prescribed by your doctor.

"It's essential that people with diabetes get the support they need to do this effectively, and that we continue to fund research across the UK aimed at preventing the onset of complications in the first place."

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