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Heart failure patients with diabetes may benefit from higher glucose levels
Date:4/9/2012

Lowering glucose levels for people with diabetes is normally critical to improving health outcomes. But for those with heart failure, that might not always be the case, say UCLA researchers.

A new study found that for advanced heart failure patients with diabetes, having higher blood glucose levels may actually help improve survival rates.

Currently published online in the American Journal of Cardiology, UCLA researchers compared levels of a marker used to track glucose levels called glycosylated hemoglobin in advanced heart failure patients with and without diabetes. The marker is gauged through a simple blood test.

The study assessed the relationship between levels of the marker and mortality outcomes. Researchers found that for heart failure patients with diabetes, for every unit increase in the marker, there was a 15 percent decrease in mortality.

"We were surprised that the optimal level of glycosylated hemoglobin in this patient population with diabetes was higher than levels in current treatment guidelines," said senior author Dr. Tamara Horwich, assistant professor of cardiology, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. "We may find that doctors who treat patients who have both advanced heart failure and diabetes may not need to focus on aggressively lowering blood sugar, but rather keep it under moderate control."

Approximately 25 to 50 percent of patients with heart failure also have diabetes, compared to just 7 percent of the general population. The relation could be due to similar physiologic processes that underlie both conditions such as oxidative stress, patterns of hormonal activity and vascular lining dysfunction that can lead to conditions like atherosclerosis.

For the study, researchers assessed medical records of 845 patients with advanced heart failure, referred to a single university center, the Ahmanson-UCLA Cardiomyopathy Center. Most of the patients (72 perc
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Contact: Rachel Champeau
rchampeau@mednet.ucla.edu
310-794-2270
University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert  

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