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Patients with diabetes make up over quarter of admissions for heart failure

And they are four times as likely to die in the following year, national audit shows

Caroline White

Thursday, 28 November 2013

More than a quarter of admissions to hospital for heart failure involve a patient with diabetes, a national clinical audit of the disease shows.

The National Diabetes Audit published today recorded over two million patients with diabetes and shows people with diabetes have a 73% greater risk of being admitted to hospital for heart failure compared with the rest of the population.

Patients with diabetes made up some 28%, or 198,200 of 717,100 hospital admissions for heart failure during 2010-2012 and they had had more than four times the odds of dying in the following year.

The audit, which is the largest of its kind in the world, looked at health complications associated with the highest risks of death in patients with diabetes in England and Wales from 2010 to 2012, and measured death rates from all causes, compared with the general population.

Patients with diabetes were 38% more likely to die prematurely, adding up to 24,900 more deaths in 2012 than expected, with the relative risk of premature death greatest for women and younger people, the audit shows.

This figure is lower than in 2011, when it was 41%, but it is too soon to know whether this is a trend, says the report.

Of the 198,100 people in the audit with type 1 diabetes, 3300 died during the year, whereas 1440 would have been expected among the same number of the general population, giving a 129% increased risk of death for people with this form of diabetes.

Of the 1.9 million people in the audit with type 2 diabetes, 70,900 died during the year, compared with the expected 52,800 in the general population, giving a 34% increased risk of death for people with this form of diabetes.

Dr Bob Young, clinical lead for the audit, said the figures were a “wake-up call.” He added: “Heart failure is preventable and treatable. Every health professional should take note of how much more common heart failure is among patients with diabetes and how high the short-term risk of death is.”

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