Doctor with a defibrillator saves life

The rate of mortality rises by over 50 per cent in people with diabetes according to a UK study.

Whilst the headline serves a warning, note that you have the power to reduce your risk of suffering a heart attack and, if you have had a heart attack, it is not too late to improve your health.

Researchers from the University of Leeds looked to evaluate the long-term risks of dying following a heart attack. The long-term risks had previously not been known.

The researchers reviewed health records within the UK acute myocardial infarction registry. This included around 700,000 people that have had a heart attack and, of these, 120,000 had diabetes. The researchers reviewed people that had suffered a form of heart attack known as ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) and another form known as non-STEMI (NSTEMI).

The unadjusted increased rate of mortality following a STEMI heart attack was 72% and for a non-STEMI heart attack was 67%. After adjusting for additional health conditions, risk factors and heart treatments that patients had, the rate of mortality was still significantly raised by at least 50 per cent for people with diabetes.

Dr Chris Gale, lead researcher and consultant cardiologist and associate professor at the Leeds University School of Medicine, said: “Although these days, people are more likely than ever to survive a heart attack, we need to place greater focus on the long-term effects of diabetes in heart attack survivors.

“The partnership between cardiologists, GPs and diabetologists needs to be strengthened and we need to make sure we are using established medications as effectively as possible among high-risk individuals.”