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New study analyzes incidence and fatality of heart disease in patients with Type 2 diabetes

February 4, 2019

By Sarah Warr

Type 2 diabetes is known to be associated with an increased risk of heart disease, but it’s unclear whether this risk has changed over time with improved diagnosis and treatments to reduce this risk. According to new research from Women’s College Research Institute (WCRI) trainee, Stephanie Read, PhD, despite these considerable efforts the risk of coronary heart disease remained considerably higher among patients with Type 2 diabetes, who also had higher fatality rates following hospital admission for heart attack.

The study, published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes), examined trends in the incidence and fatality of heart attacks and in-hospital admissions for angina and coronary revascularization procedures in Scotland between 2006 to 2015. The scientists found that the excess risk of coronary heart disease associated with Type 2 diabetes has not changed over time, suggesting that improved diagnosis and treatments have not had much of an effect. They also found that the risk of coronary heart disease associated with Type 2 diabetes was higher in women than men, where a difference in prevalence and management of risk factors may act as a mechanism for this disparity.

The study provides a strong argument for further intensifying cardiovascular disease risk factor management in patients with Type 2 diabetes to reduce this excess risk. As well, these findings have important clinical implications for primary and secondary prevention of coronary heart disease with the growing prevalence of Type 2 diabetes, particularly in aging populations.

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