Diabetes and Heart Failure


People with diabetes are 38% more likely to die early and have a 73% higher chance of being admitted to hospital for heart failure than others, according to a U.K. report.

The review of more than two million people found just over a quarter of admissions to hospital for heart failure were among people with diabetes. Furthermore, diabetics admitted to hospital for heart failure had more than quadruple the odds of dying in the following year compared with the general population.

“There is no great mystery about why the rate is so high, as we know that half of people with diabetes have high blood pressure and a quarter have high cholesterol,” says Barbara Young, Director of Diabetes UK.

In the Framingham study, diabetic men aged 45 to 74 had better than twice the risk of developing heart failure as their non-diabetic cohorts, and women had an alarming fivefold increased risk. As the authors pointed out, this excessive risk appeared to be caused by factors other than accelerated atherogenesis and coronary heart disease.

Even when patients with prior coronary or rheumatic heart disease were excluded, the diabetic subjects had a four- to fivefold increased risk of congestive heart failure.

Moreover, the increased risk of heart failure in the diabetic patients persisted after taking into account age, blood pressure, weight and cholesterol values as well as coronary heart disease.

Women with diabetes appeared to be especially vulnerable and, irrespective of coronary disease status, had twice the frequency of congestive heart failure as men.


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