Does diabetes double heart attack risk? Possibly, study says
New research shows that having diabetes can double a person's risk for heart attack-related death.
The reason? An important heart enzyme, which can lead to abnormal heart rhythm, an increased risk of sudden death after a heart attack and the failing of pacemakers.
Diabetes can cause higher levels of oxidative stress, which occurs when levels of reactive oxygen species rise and damage cells. An enzyme called CaMKII (calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II), activated by oxidation, appears to be linked to the kind of stress caused by diabetes, and, ultimately, heart attack risk.
"Our findings suggest that oxidized CaMKII may be a 'diabetic factor' that is responsible for the increased risk of death among patients with diabetes following a heart attack," said lead study author Min Luo, D.O., Ph.D., a cardiology fellow in the UI Department of Internal Medicine.
Diabetic mice have high risk for heart attacks
Luo and her colleagues studied diabetic mice, who were showed to have double the death rate from heart attacks than healthy mice. They also found that pacemaker cells in mice had higher levels of oxidized CaMKII and that cell death was greater following a heart attack than in non-diabetic mice.
Interventions that prevent or reduce the activation of CaMKII in heart cells might help to reduce death rates in patients with diabetes, the researchers say.
The study is published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
Source: Science Daily