Researchers examine dangerous combination of diabetes, heart failure among Asians

By American Heart Association News

Chevanon Wonganuchitmetha/EyeEm, Getty Images
(Chevanon Wonganuchitmetha/EyeEm, Getty Images)

Type 2 diabetes frequently coexists with heart failure. And the combination of the two can lead to structural changes in the heart and an increased risk of death, according to a multi-country study in Asia.

Diabetes, a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and heart failure, when the heart isn't pumping as well as it should, together have been extensively studied in Western nations. But the prevalence of diabetes has increased worldwide, and less has been known about how the combination affects Asians.

For the new study, researchers analyzed data from about 6,200 heart failure patients.

The study found having both Type 2 diabetes and heart failure was associated with structural abnormalities in the heart, worse quality of life and an increased risk of heart failure-related re-hospitalizations or death within one year.

Researchers also noted the overall prevalence of Type 2 diabetes was high among these heart failure patients; more than 40% had diabetes. The prevalence was highest in Singapore and Hong Kong.

"Primary prevention strategies and tailored treatment options are needed to tackle this twin scourge of diseases," study co-author Jonathan Yap said in a news release. He is a consultant from the department of cardiology of the National Heart Centre Singapore.

"Our findings emphasize the need for preventative public health measures at the community and primary care level. For heart failure patients who have diabetes, physicians should closely monitor and optimize their management."

The study published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

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