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Diabetes diagnosis soon followed by heart failure could boost death risk

For people with newly diagnosed Type 2 diabetes, heart failure posed the greatest five-year risk of death, more than any other heart or kidney disease, according to new research.

The study, published Tuesday in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, used Danish health registry data from 153,405 people diagnosed with diabetes between 1998 and 2015. During the median follow-up of nearly 10 years, 45% of the patients were diagnosed with cardiovascular or kidney disease.

But when researchers looked at the five-year risk ratio of death after a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis, it was three times higher in people who developed heart failure than in people without heart or kidney disease.

People with Type 2 diabetes are 2 to 4 times more likely than people without the condition to develop heart failure – a condition in which the heart doesn’t efficiently pump oxygenated blood through the body. While previous heart disease research has focused on people who had diabetes for a long time, this study focused on heart failure risk in the newly diagnosed.

Some new treatments and medicines for people with Type 2 diabetes also can help reduce cardiovascular risk, Dr. Bochra Zareini, the study’s lead author, said in a news release. He is a research fellow at Herlev Gentofte University Hospital in Copenhagen, Denmark. “Our study highlights which subgroups of patients need and could benefit most from targeted risk evaluation, prevention and treatment.”

The researchers noted their findings are limited by a lack of information about clinical factors that would detail the progression and severity of heart failure and Type 2 diabetes. The researchers also noted they did not include the treatment effects of various new diabetes medications.

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