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Diabetes Linked to Death After a Heart Attack

Last Updated: May 13, 2009.

Patients who have had a heart attack have a higher risk of death or hospitalization for heart failure if they have diabetes mellitus, according to a study in the May issue of JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging.

WEDNESDAY, May 13 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who have had a heart attack have a higher risk of death or hospitalization for heart failure if they have diabetes mellitus, according to a study in the May issue of JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging.

Dan E. Hofsten, M.D., from Funen Hospital in Svendborg, Denmark, and colleagues examined the association between glucose metabolism and left ventricular function and prognosis in 203 patients hospitalized for acute myocardial infarction.

The researchers found that among the 173 patients without a previous diagnosis of diabetes mellitus, 58 percent had abnormal glucose regulation, including 22 percent with newly diagnosed diabetes. After adjusting for a number of factors, increasing abnormal glucose metabolism was associated with five of six echocardiographic measurements of left ventricular dysfunction, as well as plasma N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide levels. After a follow-up of 21 months, the patients with known or newly diagnosed diabetes had a significantly higher risk of all-cause mortality (hazard ratios, 4.2 and 5.7, respectively) and death or hospitalization for heart failure (hazard ratios, 4.3 and 5.8, respectively).

"The present study demonstrates that although abnormal glucose regulation is associated with impairment of left ventricular function in the early phase of acute myocardial infarction, this relationship does not alone explain the excess mortality in patients with newly detected or known diabetes mellitus," Hofsten and colleagues conclude.

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