Prospects for people with type 2 diabetes and heart disease may be grimmer than previously believed, researchers report.
"Type 2 diabetes accompanied by an acute coronary syndrome needs much more attention, especially in order to prevent yet another major cardiac event," said study leader Dr William White. He is a professor with the University of Connecticut Health Centre's Calhoun Cardiology Centre.
The study included more than 5,300 people around the world with type 2 diabetes. Those admitted to the hospital for congestive heart failure had a 24 percent to 28 percent chance of dying within 18 months.
That's five times higher than the risk among those not hospitalised for a major heart problem, the researchers said.
The risk of heart disease is two to three times higher among people with type 2 diabetes than in the general population, the study authors pointed out.
In all future studies of type 2 diabetes and heart disease, heart failure outcomes should receive the same amount of scrutiny as stroke, heart attack and unstable angina, White said in a university news release.
The reason heart disease and type 2 diabetes are linked is partly because obesity and problems such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels contribute to both conditions.
But there are also concerns that some medications to control blood sugar in people with diabetes may also damage the heart, according to the researchers.
The study, to be presented Saturday at the American Diabetes Association's annual meeting in New Orleans, was also published online in the journal Diabetes Care.