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Diabetes may raise risk of heart attack death by 50 per cent

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London: Having diabetes increases the risk of dying from the effects of a heart attack by around 50 per cent, a new study has warned. Researchers from University of Leeds in the UK tracked 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. After stripping out the effects of age, sex, any other illnesses and differences in the emergency medical treatment received, researchers found stark differences in survival rates.

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, researchers said. 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, they said.

“These results provide robust evidence that diabetes is a significant long-term population burden among patients who have had a heart attack,” said Chris Gale from University of Leeds. “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,” said Gale. The findings were published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.