Diabetics Fare Worse After Heart Surgery, Study Finds

THURSDAY May 29, 2014, 2014 -- People with diabetes have an increased risk of problems after heart bypass surgery, a new study finds.

Researchers looked at more than 9,200 patients in China who underwent coronary artery bypass graft surgery (CABG) between 1999 and 2008, and found that those with diabetes had worse outcomes after two years than those without the condition.

Costs were also higher among patients with diabetes, according to the study in the June issue of the Annals of Thoracic Surgery. These expenses were mainly due to additional hospitalizations and medical procedures, and the use of insulin and other medications.

"Based on the results of our study, we highly recommend an individualized treatment plan and a heart team approach for patients with diabetes who require CABG surgery," lead author Dr. Heng Zhang, of Fuwai Hospital in China, said in a journal news release.

"We also would like to compare the results of our study with results of future studies internationally so that we better understand how to care for this higher-risk patient population," Zhang added.

The findings add to concerns doctors have about rising rates of diabetes globally. By 2030, 439 million people worldwide are expected to have diabetes.

"In China, nearly 114 million adults (11.6 percent) have diabetes," Zhang said in the news release. "In the United States, the rate is nearly the same at 11.3 percent or about 25.6 million adults."

The study findings are significant and raise "the question of whether we as surgeons focus on the right factors in this often challenging group of patients," Dr. Michael Jessen, from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, wrote in an accompanying commentary.

"While the findings are perhaps not surprising, we are left with the problem of how to change our management strategies so that diabetic patients have improved clinical and economic outcomes," he added.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about diabetes.

Posted: May 2014


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