Diabetes Self-Management Blog

More than 10% of people admitted to the hospital with a heart attack were found to have undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes in a new study presented at the American Heart Association’s Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions 2014. Approximately 26 million people in the United States have diabetes, and roughly a quarter of those cases are undiagnosed.

In some cases, hospitalization for a heart attack is the first opportunity doctors have to recognize and treat a person’s Type 2 diabetes. To evaluate how common undiagnosed diabetes is in people who have had a heart attack, as well as to determine how frequently the diabetes is recognized, researchers looked at data from 2,854 heart attack patients without diagnosed diabetes from 24 US hospitals. They also checked the A1C levels, a measure of blood glucose control over the previous 2–3 months, of all the study subjects (but, as part of the study process, did not share the results with the patients’ doctors).

The researchers found that 287 of the people, or 10.1%, were newly diagnosed with diabetes based on the results of the A1C test taken for the study. In 198, or 69%, of the previously undiagnosed people, doctors failed to recognize the presence of diabetes. Of the 287 individuals with Type 2, less than a third received diabetes education or medicine upon being discharged from the hospital. And six months after being discharged, only 7% of people whose diabetes had not been detected during their hospital stay were receiving medicine for the condition, compared to 71% of those whose diabetes had been diagnosed upon hospitalization for the heart attack.

According to lead study author Suzanne V. Arnold, MD, MHA, “Diagnosing diabetes in patients who have had a heart attack is important because of the role diabetes plays in heart disease. By recognizing and treating diabetes early, we may be able to prevent additional cardiovascular complications through diet, weight loss, and lifestyle changes in addition to taking medications. Another important reason to diagnose diabetes at the time of heart attack is that it can guide the treatments for the patient’s coronary artery disease.”

Having Type 2 diabetes significantly raises a person’s risk for having a heart attack, and two-thirds of people with diabetes die from cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association recommends that people who have had a heart attack ask to be checked for diabetes if they have a family history of the condition or other risk factors such as overweight or obesity, physical inactivity, or high blood pressure.

For more information, read the article “More than 10 percent of heart attack patients may have undiagnosed diabetes” or see the study’s abstract on the website of the American Heart Association’s Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions 2014. And to learn more about preventing and dealing with a heart attack, click here.


  1. There are no comments at this time.

Post a Comment

Note: All comments are moderated and there may be a delay in the publication of your comment. Please be on-topic and appropriate. Do not disclose personal information. Be respectful of other posters. Only post information that is correct and true to your knowledge. When referencing information that is not based on personal experience, please provide links to your sources. All commenters are considered to be nonmedical professionals unless explicitly stated otherwise. Promotion of your own or someone else's business or competing site is not allowed: Sharing links to sites that are relevant to the topic at hand is permitted, but advertising is not. Once submitted, comments cannot be modified or deleted by their authors. Comments that don't follow the guidelines above may be deleted without warning. Such actions are at the sole discretion of DiabetesSelfManagement.com. Comments are moderated Monday through Friday by the editors of DiabetesSelfManagement.com. The moderators are employees of Madavor Media, LLC., and do not report any conflicts of interest. A privacy policy setting forth our policies regarding the collection, use, and disclosure of certain information relating to you and your use of this Web site can be found here. For more information, please read our Terms and Conditions.

Type 2 Diabetes
Insulin for Type 2 (07/14/14)
Rutgers Recruiting for Type 2 Diabetes Study (07/03/14)
Sleep Apnea Increases Type 2 Diabetes Risk (06/06/14)

Heart Health
When Blood Pressure Is Too Low (05/19/14)
Heart Health Fact or Fiction (02/18/14)
Symptoms of a Heart Attack in Women (02/14/14)

Diabetes Research
Whey Protein to Prevent After-Meal Blood Sugar Spikes? (07/18/14)
Metformin More Effective in African-Americans (07/10/14)
Diabetes Distress and Depression (07/09/14)
Researchers Successfully Test "Bionic Pancreas" (06/26/14)

Diabetes News
Whey Protein to Prevent After-Meal Blood Sugar Spikes? (07/18/14)
Metformin More Effective in African-Americans (07/10/14)
FDA Approves Inhalable Insulin (07/03/14)
Diabetes Distress and Depression (07/09/14)

Diane Fennell
Whey Protein to Prevent After-Meal Blood Sugar Spikes? (07/18/14)
Metformin More Effective in African-Americans (07/10/14)
FDA Approves Inhalable Insulin (07/03/14)
Remembering Jan Chait (07/01/14)



Disclaimer of Medical Advice: You understand that the blog posts and comments to such blog posts (whether posted by us, our agents or bloggers, or by users) do not constitute medical advice or recommendation of any kind, and you should not rely on any information contained in such posts or comments to replace consultations with your qualified health care professionals to meet your individual needs. The opinions and other information contained in the blog posts and comments do not reflect the opinions or positions of the Site Proprietor.

Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring — Part 1: The Gear
Blood glucose self-monitoring is one of the keys to diabetes control. Here are the tools you need to carry out this task.

Perfectionism: An Impossible Goal in Diabetes Management
Striving for good self-care is important, but perfectionism can make diabetes care — and life — more difficult.

Recipes for Spring
Enjoy recipes for Baked salmon on beet greens, Tofu and snow pea slaw, Radish and cucumber salad, Spinach pinwheels, Beet salad with citrus dressing, and Stuffed berries.

Complete table of contents
Subscription questions