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

ent) were men and the average age was 55.

Patients were classified as having diabetes or not and also grouped by four levels of glycosylated hemoglobin. Using statistical analysis, researchers calculated risk of death or need for an urgent heart transplant.

"For heart failure patients with diabetes, we found that higher, not lower levels, of the marker had better outcomes," said first author Sofia Tomova, a medical student in the division of cardiology, Geffen School of Medicine.

Researchers found that for diabetic heart failure patients, two-year event-free survival was highest amongst patients with the highest elevated glycosylated hemoglobin levels: 65 percent survival rate for patients with level four (greater than 8.6 percent of the marker) and 61 percent survival rate with level three (7.3 to 8.5 percent of the marker).

Patients with lower levels of the marker had worse survival rates: 48 percent survival rate for patients with level one (less than 6.4 percent of the marker) and 42 percent survival rate with level two (6.5 to 7.2 percent of the marker).

According to researchers, the ideal level of glycosylated hemoglobin in heart failure patients with diabetes appeared to be in the 8.3 to 8.9 percent range. Current national treatment targets aim much lower at 7 percent.

In the heart failure patients without diabetes, there was no significant mortality risk difference between the glycosylated hemoglobin levels.

Researchers note that for those without heart failure, having diabetes and elevated glycosylated hemoglobin levels is a risk factor for developing the condition. However, the study shows that if a patient already has heart failure, having higher glycosylated hemoglobin levels may be protective.

The next steps are studies to test the optimal glucose management goals as well as assess the best anti-diabetic medications for heart failure patients with diabetes.

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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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