Stenosis Is Associated With Diabetes Deaths

An observational study that was recently done indicated that even having a minor coronary plaque that doesn’t result in any symptoms can have a big impact on mortality and heart disease over the long run in diabetic patients. The adjusted mortality risk was also doubly elevated in patients that had a coronary CT angiography showing minor stenosis of less than 50% or obstructive stenosis of 50% or more. These findings were uncovered by Philipp Blanke, MD, of the University of British Columbia and St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver alongside colleagues.


Diabetes is associated with a number of complications including heart disease. In addition, patients can also develop life threating infections that can lead to amputation, kidney disease and other conditions that can lead to hospitalization. However, cardiovascular events can result in the greatest risk of death if left undiagnosed.


The risk of death that is associated with nonobstructive coronary artery disease was demonstrated to be approximately the same as those patients that have single-vessel obstructive disease. These findings were reported by researchers at Radiological Society of North America meeting.


When looking at major cardiovascular conditions that result in negative outcomes including death myocardial infarction, unstable angina, and late coronary revascularization, the findings indicated that there was about two times the risk associated with obstructive disease when compared to mild stenosis. The researchers have also concluded that coronary computed tomographic angiography can be used with diabetic patients in order to determine the long term prognosis with regard to mortality and major cardiovascular events resulting in negative outcomes.


The researchers also determined that screening diabetic patients in order to make determinations about diabetes management plans was not a better option that simply focusing on eliminating the risk factors for the disease. This conclusion was reported this past November at a meeting of the American Heart Association.


These findings are important because according to J. Brent Muhlestein, MD, many diabetic patients don’t know they have cardiac conditions until they suffer a heart attack or die. By finding out about these risk factors in advance, researchers hope that in the future patients that are at risk can be treated before they suffer a heart attack or die.


More research will need to be done in order to determine exactly how diabetes impacts the risk of cardiovascular events. However, researchers are certain that the risk factors can be mitigated by earlier interaction. They hope that these finidngs will have an impact on health officials in order to encourage them to recommend earlier intervention for patients at risk and treatment for patients that are already affected by the condition.

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