High blood sugar increases risk of dying following heart attack

Patients will high blood sugar have an increased risk of dying following a heart attack, according to doctoral research from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.

The research showed that diabetes in patients with coronary artery disease significantly increases the risk of premature death. Diabetes is common among patients with coronary artery disease.

Diabetes patients are less likely to survive in-hospital cardiac arrest than non-diabetics. According to the study, diabetes and pre-diabetes also are associated with less favorable results following coronary artery surgery.

“Type 2 diabetics with suspected coronary artery disease who are on insulin therapy have lower survival,” said Petur Petursson, researcher and doctoral student. “We've not been able to demonstrate the exact cause, but much of it may be because those on insulin therapy have more severe disease.”

Petursson emphasized the importance of diagnosing and managing blood sugar disorders in patients with coronary artery disease.

“Medical personnel can pretty much assume that coronary artery disease patients will have some kind of blood sugar disorder, so there must be established strategies for managing these disorders,” said Petursson.

Diabetes and heart disease
Diabetes is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. People living with diabetes are at least twice as likely as someone who does not have diabetes to have heart disease or a stroke, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

In addition, people with diabetes tend to develop heart disease or have strokes at an earlier age than other people. A middle-aged person with type 2 diabetes have as high a chance of having diabetes as someone who's already had one heart attack.

Heart attacks in people with diabetes are more serious and more likely to cause death, according to the NIH. High blood glucose levels can lead to increased deposits of fatty materials on the insides of the blood vessel walls. This affects blood flow and increases the change of clogging and hardening of blood vessels.

Metabolic syndrome is a group of five traits and medical conditions that puts people at risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Having any three traits can raise a person's risk.

Traits and medical conditions include elevated waist circumference, elevated triglycerides, low levels of HDL (good) cholesterol, elevated blood pressure levels, and elevated fasting blood glucose levels.

Sources: AlphaGalileo Foundation, National Institutes of Health

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