• New Research Suggests 10 Percent of Heart Attack Patients May Also Have Diabetes
  • September 9, 2014 | Author: Jennifer L. Keel
  • Law Firm: Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, P.C. - Englewood Office
  • A new study performed by researchers at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute found more than 10 percent of people who suffer a heart attack may have undiagnosed diabetes, according to a statement from the American Heart Association.

    The researchers analyzed information on about 2,854 heart attack patients who had not been previously diagnosed with diabetes. They used blood samples collected from the patients and ran the A1C test to determine each person’s blood sugar levels.

    Of all the patients in the study, 287 had undiagnosed diabetes based on the A1C blood test, according to the statement. However, doctors treating the patients for the heart attacks did not recognize the diabetes in 69 percent of the 287 patients, and less than a third of the 287 patients received any diabetes education or medication when they left the hospital after the heart attack. For the patients who were not diagnosed at the time of their heart attack, only 7 percent were on diabetes medication six months after they were discharged from the hospital.

    The authors also found doctors treating patients for heart attacks were more likely to diagnose the diabetes if they ordered the A1C blood test, the AHA reported.

    “By recognizing and treating diabetes early, we may be able to prevent additional cardiovascular complications through diet, weight loss and lifestyle changes in addition to taking medications,” lead author Dr. Suzanne V. Arnold said. “Another important reason to diagnose diabetes at the time of heart attack is that it can guide the treatments for the patient’s coronary artery disease.”

    The researchers recommend that patients who have had a heart attack ask their doctors about diabetes, and specifically for the A1C blood test to determine their blood sugar levels.