“The results provide robust evidence that diabetes is a significant long-term population burden among patients who have had a heart attack,” said lead researcher Chris Gale, Consultant Cardiologist and Associate Professor at University of Leeds in Britain.
The findings showed that people with diabetes were 56 per cent more likely to have died if they had experienced a ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) heart attack – in which the coronary artery is completely blocked – than those without the condition.
Further, they were 39 per cent more likely to have died if they had a non-ST elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) heart attack – in which the artery is partially blocked – than those without diabetes.
The study indicated that the adverse effect on survival is linked to having diabetes, rather than other conditions people with diabetes may suffer from.
“Managing diabetes effectively can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. This includes eating healthily, keeping active and taking medications as prescribed by your doctor,” added Anna Morris, Head of Research Funding at Diabetes UK — a research organisation.
For the research, the team analysed 700,000 people who had been admitted to hospital with a heart attack between January 2003 and June 2013. Of these, 121,000 had diabetes.
Even after adjusting for effects of age, sex, any other illnesses and differences in the emergency medical treatment received, the team found stark differences in survival rates.
“The research highlights the need to find new ways to prevent coronary heart disease in people with diabetes and develop new treatments to improve survival after a heart attack,” explained Mike Knapton, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation.
The results were published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.