In a new study, published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, researchers have found that diabetes is an independent risk factor for the development of heart failure in the community-dwelling population. Though heart problems are a common development for people with diabetes, this latest research may provide new insights to the researchers.
Health experts said that diabetes leads to cardiomyopathy resulting in progressive deterioration of pumping capacity of the heart, if poorly controlled. Satish Koul, HOD and Director Internal Medicine, Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, Gurugram in India, told IANS, "Diabetes is also a major risk factor for atherosclerosis and this eventually leads to blockage of coronary arteries. This leads to heart attack or myocardial infarction. Due to myocardial infarction, the heart muscle becomes weak and eventually heart fails as a pump leading to congestive heart failure."
The researchers have evaluated the long-term impact of diabetes on the development of heart failure, both with preserved ejection fraction and reduced ejection fraction. The preserved ejection fraction is a measurement of the percentage of blood leaving the heart with each contraction.
In addition, the experts also analysed mortality in a community population, controlling for hypertension, coronary artery disease and diastolic function. Out of 2,042 residents of Olmsted County in the US, 116 participants with diabetes were matched 1:2 for age, hypertension, sex, coronary artery disease and diastolic dysfunction to 232 participants without diabetes.
Diabetes as an independent risk factor
The researchers followed the participants over a period of 10 years and found that 21 percent of participants with diabetes developed heart failure, independent of other causes, while only 12 percent people without diabetes developed heart failure. However, the researchers said that cardiac death, heart attack and stroke were not statistically different between the two groups.
The study findings suggested that diabetic patients are at increased risk of developing heart failure as compared to their nondiabetic counterparts, even if they don't have any cardiac structural abnormality and has a normal ejection fraction. "The key takeaway is that diabetes mellitus alone is an independent risk factor for the development of heart failure," said study senior author Horng Chen from Mayo Clinic in the US.
"Our hope is that this study provides a strong foundation for further investigations into diabetes and heart failure. There is still much to learn and study in terms of this association and how to best diagnose and treat this condition," Chen said.