November 23, 2017 |
More Than 10 Percent of Heart Attack Patients May Have Undiagnosed Diabetes
June 4, 2014  | 

Baltimore, MD ― At least 10 percent of people who have a heart attack may have undiagnosed diabetes, according to new research presented at the American Heart Association’s Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions 2014.

Researchers studied data on 2,854 heart attack patients who did not have a known diagnosis of diabetes in 24 U.S. hospitals to understand the prevalence and recognition of undiagnosed diabetes. They tested the patients’ A1C levels - a standard test to determine blood sugar levels for the past 2-3 months.

Study Highlights:

  • Among the patients, 287 (10.1 percent) were newly diagnosed with diabetes based on the A1C test during their treatment for heart attack.
  • Less than a third of the 287 patients received diabetes education or medication upon discharge from the hospital.
  • Doctors failed to recognize diabetes in 198 (69 percent) of the previously undiagnosed patients. They were 17 times more likely to recognize patients’ diabetes if they checked the A1C test results during the heart attack, and even more likely the higher the test levels.
  • Six months after discharge, less than 7 percent of those who weren’t recognized as having diabetes during their hospital stay had started medication for the disease, compared to 71 percent of those whose diagnosis was recognized.

“Diagnosing diabetes in patients who have had a heart attack is important because of the role diabetes plays in heart disease,” said Suzanne V. Arnold, M.D., M.H.A., the study’s lead author and assistant professor at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute and the University of Missouri at Kansas City. “By recognizing and treating diabetes early, we may be able to prevent additional cardiovascular complications through diet, weight loss and lifestyle changes in addition to taking medications. Another important reason to diagnose diabetes at the time of heart attack is that it can guide the treatments for the patient’s coronary artery disease.” Continue>

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