Diabetes Independently Linked to Increased Heart Failure

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Many patients with diabetes eventually develop heart failure, but is that a result of other comorbidities? This observational study suggests diabetes itself is an independent predictor of future HF.
Diabetes mellitus (DM) may be an independent risk factor for the development of heart failure (HF), a new population-based study suggests.

Investigators followed 116 adults with diabetes and 232 matched control subjects over 10-year period and found that one-fifth of those with DM developed HF, independent of other causes, such as diastolic dysfunction, compared with only about 10% of those without DM.

"The current study shows that diabetic patients have a significantly increased risk of developing heart failure, compared with nondiabetic patients," lead author Michael Klajda, MD, an internal medicine resident at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, told theheart.org | Medscape Cardiology.

"Additionally, the study expands on the current fund of knowledge by demonstrating that even without structural heart disease (diastolic dysfunction), diabetic patients are still at risk for developing heart failure," he said.

The findings "support the concept" of diabetic cardiomyopathy (DCM), the authors conclude in their report. "Future research should be focused on whether aggressive management of risk factors such as BMI and glucose and cholesterol levels will decrease the development of HF in patients with DM."

The study was published online January 2 in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Unclear Association

Previous work has shown that patients with DM are at increased risk for HF, representing roughly 33% of HF admissions to hospitals in the United States; moreover, 22% of older patients with DM have a diagnosis of HF, the authors write.

"Diabetes is a very common medical condition in the United States and has a well-documented association with cardiovascular disease; however, its association with heart failure has been difficult to define," Klajda observed.

"This is mostly due to the fact that diabetic patients often have other causes of heart failure, like high blood pressure and/or coronary heart disease," he continued.

The current study therefore set out to…
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