T2D and heart failure could be a deadly combination

A multi-country study in Asia has revealed patients with both type 2 diabetes and heart failure (HF) face higher odds of structural CV abnormalities, a poorer quality of life and an increased risk of death.

The past three decades have seen a rapid rise in the rate of diabetes worldwide, Jonathan Yap, MBBS, MPH, and colleagues wrote in the Journal of the American Heart Association, with the greatest projected increase in Asia. Yet the majority of studies of HF and diabetes have focused on Western countries, ignoring a huge subset of the global population.

“Knowledge gleaned from Western cohorts may not be readily extrapolated to Asians, particularly in light of recent studies showing distinct differences between Asians and white populations,” Yap and co-authors wrote.

For their work, researchers studied 5,028 patients with HF with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) and 1,139 patients with HF with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). Just over 40% of patients in the HFrEF cohort and 45% of patients in the HFpEF cohort presented with type 2 diabetes.

The authors said they considered the proportion of patients with both heart failure and diabetes high—especially in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Analyzing other characteristics of the patients, Yap et al. found Asian individuals with HF and diabetes were more likely to have structural abnormalities in their heart and report a poorer quality of life. They also saw an increased risk of heart failure-related hospitalizations and death within a year.

“Primary prevention strategies and tailored treatment options are needed to tackle this twin scourge of diseases,” Yap said in a release. “Our findings emphasize the need for preventative public health measures at the community and primary care level. For heart failure patients who have diabetes, physicians should closely monitor and optimize their management.”