How to treat and prevent heart attack in people with diabetes

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In a new study from the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, researchers found how to treat and prevent serious events like a heart attack or death in diabetic patients at high risk of heart disease.

The chilling links between diabetes and heart disease are clear, and the team found, for the first time, the potential of the SGLT2 inhibitor dapagliflozin to stabilize vulnerable plaque in patients with diabetes to prevent plaque rupture and a heart attack.

The study provides further rationale for the use of dapagliflozin—the first of this novel class of glucose-lowering drugs to be made available in Australia—by health specialists including GPs, endocrinologists and cardiologists.

Importantly, the paper provides proof-of-concept to test the plaque-stabilizing capability of this medication and other anti-diabetic drugs.

The team says the effects on plaque stability demonstrated in this study with dapagliflozin could explain, at least in part, the reduction of cardiovascular events seen in diabetic patients treated with this medication.

Diabetes is known to accelerate atherosclerosis (the build-up of fats in the artery) and increase plaque instability, which can lead to plaque rupture and heart attack.

With a significant unmet need around diabetes-accelerated atherosclerosis and the identification of novel therapeutic targets and strategies, this latest paper comes amid strong global interest in this new class of medications.

While SGLT2 inhibitors have emerged as a new therapeutic class for lowering blood glucose, several clinical studies have demonstrated the efficacy of the glucose-lowering effect of SGLT2 inhibitors in association with improved cardiovascular outcomes.

This latest study provides further support for the potential of SGLT2 inhibitors to play a pivotal role in preventing plaque instability, and heart disease events.

The researchers say the results are very promising and give weight to the heart benefits being seen beyond blood sugar control.

If you care about heart health, please read studies about how to control your cholesterol effectively to prevent heart attacks and strokes, and common food that could strongly increase heart disease risk.

For more information about diabetes, please see recent studies about why more than half of people with type 2 diabetes die from heart disease, and results showing this stuff in oranges and tangerines may help prevent diabetes, heart disease.

The study is published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. One author of the study is Dr. Yung-Chih Chen.

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