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Diabetic Heart Patients Need Better Care

Posted: Wednesday, March 26, 2008

People hospitalized because of acute heart failure face an increased risk of dying in the hospital and in the longer term if they have diabetes or pre-diabetes. 

The finding "could help target some patients for more intensive therapy," write Dr. John J. V. McMurray from the University of Glasgow, UK, and colleagues in the medical journal Heart.

The team studied 454 consecutive patients admitted to one university hospital for heart failure; 110 of them (24 percent) had diabetes, 60 (13 percent) had pre-diabetes indicated by high blood levels of glucose, and 284 had normal blood glucose.
Fifty-one patients (11 percent) died in the hospital, and according to the investigators, there was a "striking relationship between random blood glucose concentration on admission and total mortality," even after taking into consideration numerous factors that could increase the odds of dying.

Death rates in the hospital and later on "were higher in patients with abnormal glucose tolerance or diabetes," they report. "Even mild elevations in blood glucose predicted mortality."

"Heart failure patients with abnormal glucose tolerance should receive intensive medical management in order to improve prognosis," McMurray and his colleagues conclude.

Source: Diabetes In Control: Heart, March 2008

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