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Heart failure in diabetes

A myocardium which is not functioning normally is not able to pump enough blood to meet the body’s requirements. Over a long period of time, diabetes increases the risk of heart failure.

Heart failure is more commonplace in a person with diabetes. Out of the patients with heart failure requiring hospitalisation, one in three has diabetes. To some degree, this is because diabetes is common in the elderly. On the other hand, a person with diabetes is more likely to have medical conditions that predispose to heart failure.

Heart failure is caused by another underlying disease

Heart failure is not an independent disease; it is caused by an underlying condition which impairs the heart’s ability to pump blood. The most common causes of heart failure include coronary artery disease, a previous heart attack or hypertension.

Diabetic cardiomyopathy

Chronically high blood sugar also increases the risk of cardiac failure. Over the years, diabetes can make the small vessels of the heart as well as the cells of the cardiac muscle or myocardium work less effectively. This is called diabetic cardiomyopathy. The changes can reduce the ability of the cardiac muscle to enlarge and pump blood, leading to heart failure.

Treatment of heart failure

The treatment of heart failure depends on the person. In the main, it is no different for a person with diabetes.

The SGLT2 inhibitors developed for the treatment of type 2 diabetes prevent heart incidents, especially heart failure requiring hospitalisation, and fatalities amongst individuals with diabetes that have a high risk of cardiovascular disease. Pharmaceutical products in this group also have a positive effect on kidney functions.

Updated 30.9.2023