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Hospital heart admissions high for people with diabetes

The number of heart attacks in people with Type 2 diabetes has doubled over the last ten years, according to the latest figures revealed today at Diabetes UK's Annual Professional Conference in Glasgow.

People with diabetes account for 13.9 per cent of all hospital admissions for heart attacks (12,824 incidents) between April 2005 and March 2006, compared to 7.2 per cent (5,861) between April 1996 and March 1997.

Researchers studied hospital records of more than 2.8 million major cardiovascular events and over 600,000 cardiovascular procedures in England.

The findings also showed that for people with Type 2 diabetes in the same two periods:

  • angina admissions more than doubled from 6.7 per cent (7,095) to 15.3 per cent (15,302)
  • stroke admissions increased from 6.1 per cent (5,130) to 11.3 per cent (10,221).

Over the ten-year period there was also a four-fold increase in key hole heart surgery.

Worrying findings

"This research is particularly worrying as 100,000 people are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes every year and around 80 per cent of people with diabetes die of heart related complications," said Douglas Smallwood, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK.

Access to high-quality care is vital

"However, good diabetes management can reduce the risk of heart disease by 56 per cent. It is vital that people with diabetes have access to high-quality care to enable them to control their condition, or we could see this heart timebomb explode with huge costs to people's health and an already overburdened NHS."

Stark warning

Christopher Millett, Consultant in Public Health at Imperial College, London, who was involved in the research, said: "These figures provide a stark warning about the growing burden of the diabetes epidemic on the National Health Service.

"Major efforts are required to tackle obesity, an important risk factor for diabetes, and to further improve the quality of preventative healthcare for people who already have this condition."

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