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Curr Diab Rep. 2016 Nov;16(11):116.

Heart Failure: a Major Cardiovascular Complication of Diabetes Mellitus.

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Division of Endocrinology, State University of New York Health Science Center, Brooklyn, NY, USA.
Department of Medicine, Woodhull Medical Mental Health Center, Brooklyn, NY, USA.
Division of Endocrinology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA.
Division of Cardiology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, USA.
Division of Endocrinology, State University of New York Health Science Center, Brooklyn, NY, USA.


Heart failure (HF) is a major cardiovascular complication of diabetes mellitus (DM). The greatest risk factor for HF is age, and data indicate that 6 to 10 % of individuals over the age of 65 years suffer from HF. Patients with DM have a 2.5-fold increased risk for developing HF than individuals without DM. The 25 to 40 % of patients with HF who have DM have worse outcome (death from cardiovascular disease or hospitalization for worsening HF) than patients without DM. Hyperglycemia is a risk factor for the development of HF with an increase in incidence of HF rising from 10 % at hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) 8.0 to 9.0 % to 71 % at a HbA1c > 10 %. Patients with DM and HF are equally distributed between those with low ejection fractions and those with normal ejection fractions. The HF treatment regimens for patients with HF and DM (blockade of angiotensin II synthesis or action, cardioselective β-adrenergic blockade, mineralocorticoid receptor blockade, and diuretics) are the same as for HF patients without DM, though the benefit on clinical outcomes is not as great. The new angiotensin-neprilysin inhibitors appear to provide increase outcome benefits in both HF patients with or without DM. Glycemic control impacts the clinical outcomes in patients with HF and DM in a U-shaped relationship with poorer survival at low and high mean HbA1c levels. The optimal chronic glycemic control occurs at an HbA1c of 7.5 to 8.0 % for patients with DM who have symptoms of HF.


Cardiovascular complications; Diabetes mellitus; Heart failure

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Conflict of interest statement

Compliance with Ethical StandardsConflict of InterestGül Bahtiyar and Harold Lebovitz1declare that they have no conflict of interest.David Gutterman reports that his institution receives payment from a device company for 25 % of my salary related to consultation for that company.Human and Animal Rights and Informed ConsentThis article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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