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Undiagnosed diabetes linked to heart attacks

Data from a study released at a 2014 American Heart Association convention showed that heart attacks occur in about 10 percent of people in Pennsylvania and across the nation who actually have diabetes but who have not yet been diagnosed. The information was based on 2,854 patients who suffered heart attacks in 24 hospitals who were not aware they had the disease. The potentially dangerous increase in blood sugar levels increases the risk for a heart attack. Medical professionals later diagnosed the patients through tests of their A1C levels.

About 25.8 million Americans suffer from diabetes while 7 million remain undiagnosed. The American Heart Association reports that two out of three people with diabetes eventually succumb to heart-related disease. Failure to diagnose plays a serious and negative role in hospital admissions for heart attacks. Doctors can dramatically lower the risk by checking A1C levels when someone is admitted with coronary problems. Another concerning number showed that 7 percent of heart attack patients were diagnosed with diabetes six months later. Based on current data, the Heart Foundation indicated that heart disease could be the top cause of death globally by 2020.

The study's lead author emphasized the need to address the disease early in order to reduce further complications. She elaborated that patients should watch what they eat, lose weight, exercise and make lifestyle changes in addition to following the doctor's orders regarding prescriptions. She added that a correct diagnosis of diabetes helps with treatment for heart attack and related coronary-artery disease.

When someone suffers from a serious disease, they expect a correct diagnosis from their doctor. A medical malpractice attorney might be able to pursue civil damages on behalf of a client when a physician fails to properly diagnose a serious illness.

Source: Medical Daily, "Diabetes May Cause Heart Attacks When Doctors Fail To Diagnosis The Disease", Samantha Olson, June 03, 2014

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