A study from Britain's University of Leeds found that diabetics have a 50 percent greater risk of dying from a heart attack than those who don't have diabetes.
The study tracked 700,000 people, including 121,000 with diabetes, who had been admitted to hospitals with a heart attack between 2003 and 2013. After taking effects of age, sex, illnesses, and other factors into consideration, the researchers found a bleak difference in survival rates.
Patients with diabetes were 56 percent more likely to have died if they had experienced a ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) heart attack (a complete blockage of the coronary artery) than non-diabetics.
Those with diabetes were also 39 per cent more likely to have died if they had a non-ST elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI) heart attack (the artery is partially blocked) than those without diabetes.
"These results provide robust evidence that diabetes is a significant long-term population burden among patients who have had a heart attack," said lead researcher cardiologist Chris Gale.
"Although these days people are more likely than ever to survive a heart attack, we need to place greater focus on the long-term effects of diabetes in heart attack survivors."
Gale says that partnerships between different specialty doctors, such as cardiologists and endocrinologists need to be stronger to make sure high-risk patients are getting the best, most effective medicines.
Dr. Mike Knapton, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, which funded the study said: "We knew that following a heart attack, you are less likely to survive if you also have diabetes.
"However, we did not know if this observation was due to having diabetes or having other conditions which are commonly seen in people with diabetes.
"This paper is the first to conclusively show that the adverse effect on survival is linked to having diabetes, rather than other conditions people with diabetes may suffer from.
"This research highlights the need to find new ways to prevent coronary heart disease in people with diabetes and develop new treatments to improve survival after a heart attack."
The study is published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
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