Research published online this week by DTU and Australian researchers has found that one in six people with newly-diagnosed type 2 diabetes may have experienced a silent myocardial infarction (SMI) - a heart attack without chest pain or symptoms - in the past.
Published in the journal Circulation, the study examined data from 1,967 people with type 2 diabetes who enrolled in the landmark 30-year UK Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS). Nearly 17% of these people showed evidence that they may have had a SMI in the past, as revealed by an electrocardiogram, or ECG.
The study, which followed these people for a median of 17 years, found that those with evidence of a previous SMI were at increased risk of having a fatal heart attack and at increased risk of death, compared with those without SMI.
The study also found that those who had evidence of a SMI were more likely to be older, female, sedentary and non-smokers, compared with those without SMI. Their mean blood pressure was greater despite receiving more intensive blood pressure lowering treatment, and they were more likely to be taking aspirin and lipid-lowering therapy.
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