June 9, 2009

Diabetes-heart disease mortality studied

U.S. medical scientists say they've determined there's no difference in mortality among certain patients with type 2 diabetes and stable heart disease.

The researchers from the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public Health studied patients with type 2 diabetes and heart disease who received prompt bypass surgery or angioplasty and then compared those patients' mortality with patients receiving drug therapy alone.

The researchers said they also found that while prompt bypass procedures in patients with more severe heart disease did not lower mortality, it lowered their risk of subsequent major cardiac events.

More than 20 million Americans suffer from type 2 diabetes and many of these people also have heart disease, said Professor Sheryl Kelsey, who led the study. We began this study because we don't know how best to treat this deadly duo that is affecting more and more people at increasingly younger ages. Our results provide needed guidance about which approaches can best help these patients.

The research is detailed in the June 11 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.