Research finds change in the outlook of people with type 2 diabetes and heart disease

December 29, 2015

For individuals with more extensive heart disease, however, coronary bypass surgery, in addition to intensive medical therapy, significantly decreased the risk of heart attacks and cardiac-related deaths. Sixteen percent of patients who received bypass surgery either died or had a heart attack within five years compared to 22 percent of patients who received intensive medical therapy alone.

According to Chaitman, individuals with more severe and extensive coronary blockage are more likely to experience a heart attack without prompt bypass surgery. Heart attacks increase the risk of death five to eight times more than in individuals without a heart attack .

"Our primary goal always is to prevent heart attacks from occurring; however, our research found that angioplasty is not always necessary in preventing a heart attack or cardiac-related death just because a blocked artery is present. Patients with type 2 diabetes and heart disease need to have a frank discussion with their doctors about their treatment options and what's best for their individual case," Chaitman said.