A global study from the University of Connecticut has found that patients with type 2 diabetes who are admitted to the hospital for congestive heart failure have a 500 percent greater chance of dying within 18 months than those not hospitalized for a major heart problem. The prospects for people with this deadly combination of diseases is even worse than previously believed, with 24 to 28 percent expected to die within 18 months.
People with type 2 diabetes already run a higher risk of heart disease than the general population by two to three times. The two diseases are linked partly because conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol contribute to both conditions. Other concerns are that the heart may be damaged by some of the medications used to control blood sugar in diabetics. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration now requires that all new diabetes drugs undergo formal testing for their impact on the heart.
The recent study was a new analysis of data from another study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2013. That study, called EXAMINE, was testing the diabetes drug alogliptin. The new review of the data found that the people in the trial who were admitted to the hospital with heart failure faced a 24 to 28 percent chance of dying during the remainder of the trial, whether taking aloglipin or a placebo. “It’s a very dramatic result,” said lead investigator Dr. William B. White. “A person with type 2 diabetes requiring hospitalization for heart failure in the EXAMINE trial was a harbinger of a very poor outcome.”
The researchers are continuing to analyze the data taken during the EXAMINE study for other insights.
The study was published online in the journal Diabetes Care, and was presented Saturday at the annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association’s annual meeting.