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"Type 2 diabetes accompanied by an acute coronary syndrome needs much more attention, especially in order to prevent yet another major cardiac event," said study leader Dr. William White. He is a professor with the University of Connecticut Health Center's Calhoun Cardiology Center.
The study included more than 5,300 people around the world with type 2 diabetes. Those admitted to the hospital for congestive heart failure had a 24 percent to 28 percent chance of dying within 18 months. That's five times higher than the risk among those not hospitalized for a major heart problem, the researchers said.
In all future studies of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, heart failure outcomes should receive the same amount of scrutiny as stroke, heart attack and unstable angina, White said in a university news release.
The reason heart disease and type 2 diabetes are linked is partly because obesity and problems such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels contribute to both conditions. But there are also concerns that some medications to control blood sugar in people with diabetes may also damage the heart, according to the researchers.
The study, to be presented Saturday at the American Diabetes Association's annual meeting in New Orleans, was also published online in the journal Diabetes Care.
-- Robert Preidt
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