Nav: Home

Risk of heart attacks halves in patients with diabetes in 15 years

August 29, 2020

Sophia Antipolis, France - 29 Aug 2020: Dramatic reductions in the risk of heart attacks in patients with diabetes coincides with major increases in the use of preventive medications. That's the finding of late breaking research presented today at ESC Congress 2020.1

"Our results suggest that when patients are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, starting medications to prevent cardiovascular disease has a substantial impact on the risk of heart attacks and premature death," said principal investigator Dr. Christine Gyldenkerne of Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark.

People with type 2 diabetes are twice as likely to have a heart attack or die from heart disease compared to people without diabetes.

Management of patients with type 2 diabetes has changed considerably over the last two decades, with increased focus on prevention of cardiovascular disease. This was the first study to examine how these changes may have affected the risk of heart attacks and premature death in patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes and no previous cardiovascular disease.

The researchers identified all patients in Denmark initiating therapy for type 2 diabetes from 1996 to 2011 - a total of 211,278 patients. Each patient with diabetes was matched on age and sex with five people without diabetes from the general population. Those with previous cardiovascular disease were excluded.

All participants were followed for seven years. Using data from national health registries, the researchers recorded heart attacks and death during follow-up. They also noted the use of medications to prevent cardiovascular disease at the time of diabetes diagnosis.

The researchers found that patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes and no previous cardiovascular disease experienced major reductions in the risk of heart attack and death. From 1996 to 2011, the relative risk was reduced by 61% for heart attack and by 41% for death. During the same period, the absolute risks of heart attack and death reduced by 4% and 12%, respectively.

When comparing patients with diabetes to the general population, the initially large differences in risk narrowed over time. By the end of the study, the risk of heart attack among patients with diabetes was only marginally - 0.6% - higher than in the general population.

In those with diabetes, use of cholesterol-lowering medications increased more than 10-fold, aspirin increased by 50%, and blood pressure-lowering medications increased up to four times during the study period.

Dr. Gyldenkerne said: "The risk of heart attack and premature death among patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes and no previous cardiovascular disease was approximately halved from 1996 to 2011. In the same period, the difference in risk of heart attack and death for patients with diabetes, as compared to the general population, was narrowed substantially."

She noted that this was an observational study and causation cannot be assumed. Dr. Gyldenkerne said: "In addition to the use of preventive medications, other factors may have influenced the likelihood of heart attack and premature death. For example, stricter control of diabetes and lifestyle changes such as smoking cessation, physical activity, and healthier food may have contributed to the improved prognosis."
-end-
Notes to editors

Authors: ESC Press Office
Mobile: +33 (0)7 85 31 20 36
Email: press@escardio.org

The hashtag for ESC Congress 2020 is #ESCCongress.

Follow us on Twitter @ESCardioNews

This press release accompanies a presentation at ESC Congress 2020 - The Digital Experience.

It does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the European Society of Cardiology.

Funding: Research Unit, Department of Cardiology, Aarhus University Hospital.

Disclosures: No conflicts to declare.

References and notes

1Abstract title: Nationwide trends for myocardial infarction and mortality among patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

About the European Society of Cardiology

The European Society of Cardiology brings together health care professionals from more than 150 countries, working to advance cardiovascular medicine and help people lead longer, healthier lives.



ESC Congress is the world's largest gathering of cardiovascular professionals contributing to global awareness of the latest clinical trials and breakthrough discoveries. ESC Congress 2020 takes place online from 29 August to 1 September. More information is available from the ESC Press Office at
press@escardio.org.

European Society of Cardiology

Related Diabetes Articles:

Diabetes drug boosts survival in patients with type 2 diabetes and COVID-19 pneumonia
Sitagliptin, a drug to lower blood sugar in type 2 diabetes, also improves survival in diabetic patients hospitalized with COVID-19, suggests a multicenter observational study in Italy.
Making sense of diabetes
Throughout her 38-year nursing career, Laurel Despins has progressed from a bedside nurse to a clinical nurse specialist and has worked in medical, surgical and cardiac intensive care units.
Helping teens with type 1 diabetes improve diabetes control with MyDiaText
Adolescence is a difficult period of development, made more complex for those with Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM).
Diabetes-in-a-dish model uncovers new insights into the cause of type 2 diabetes
Researchers have developed a novel 'disease-in-a-dish' model to study the basic molecular factors that lead to the development of type 2 diabetes, uncovering the potential existence of major signaling defects both inside and outside of the classical insulin signaling cascade, and providing new perspectives on the mechanisms behind insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes and possibly opportunities for the development of novel therapeutics for the disease.
Tele-diabetes to manage new-onset diabetes during COVID-19 pandemic
Two new case studies highlight the use of tele-diabetes to manage new-onset type 1 diabetes in an adult and an infant during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Genetic profile may predict type 2 diabetes risk among women with gestational diabetes
Women who go on to develop type 2 diabetes after having gestational, or pregnancy-related, diabetes are more likely to have particular genetic profiles, suggests an analysis by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions.
Maternal gestational diabetes linked to diabetes in children
Children and youth of mothers who had gestational diabetes during pregnancy are at increased risk of diabetes themselves, according to new research published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).
Two diabetes medications don't slow progression of type 2 diabetes in youth
In youth with impaired glucose tolerance or recent-onset type 2 diabetes, neither initial treatment with long-acting insulin followed by the drug metformin, nor metformin alone preserved the body's ability to make insulin, according to results published online June 25 in Diabetes Care.
People with diabetes visit the dentist less frequently despite link between diabetes, oral health
Adults with diabetes are less likely to visit the dentist than people with prediabetes or without diabetes, finds a new study led by researchers at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing and East Carolina University's Brody School of Medicine.
Diabetes, but not diabetes drug, linked to poor pregnancy outcomes
New research indicates that pregnant women with pre-gestational diabetes who take metformin are at a higher risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes -- such as major birth defects and pregnancy loss -- than the general population, but their increased risk is not due to metformin but diabetes.

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: The Power Of Spaces
How do spaces shape the human experience? In what ways do our rooms, homes, and buildings give us meaning and purpose? This hour, TED speakers explore the power of the spaces we make and inhabit. Guests include architect Michael Murphy, musician David Byrne, artist Es Devlin, and architect Siamak Hariri.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#576 Science Communication in Creative Places
When you think of science communication, you might think of TED talks or museum talks or video talks, or... people giving lectures. It's a lot of people talking. But there's more to sci comm than that. This week host Bethany Brookshire talks to three people who have looked at science communication in places you might not expect it. We'll speak with Mauna Dasari, a graduate student at Notre Dame, about making mammals into a March Madness match. We'll talk with Sarah Garner, director of the Pathologists Assistant Program at Tulane University School of Medicine, who takes pathology instruction out of...
Now Playing: Radiolab

What If?
There's plenty of speculation about what Donald Trump might do in the wake of the election. Would he dispute the results if he loses? Would he simply refuse to leave office, or even try to use the military to maintain control? Last summer, Rosa Brooks got together a team of experts and political operatives from both sides of the aisle to ask a slightly different question. Rather than arguing about whether he'd do those things, they dug into what exactly would happen if he did. Part war game part choose your own adventure, Rosa's Transition Integrity Project doesn't give us any predictions, and it isn't a referendum on Trump. Instead, it's a deeply illuminating stress test on our laws, our institutions, and on the commitment to democracy written into the constitution. This episode was reported by Bethel Habte, with help from Tracie Hunte, and produced by Bethel Habte. Jeremy Bloom provided original music. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.     You can read The Transition Integrity Project's report here.