By: Jan Chait
Unless you are undergoing kidney dialysis or have congestive heart failure, having diabetes puts you at no more risk of having a heart attack or dying following major surgery on blood vessels than people without diabetes, researchers say.
However, people with diabetes made up a higher percentage of the 6,565 people who underwent such surgery beginning in 1990. People with diabetes needed these procedures at a younger age, and long-term survival was not as great in the group with diabetes.
Overall, people with diabetes made up 62.3 percent of patients who needed vascular surgery. The average age of the population with diabetes was 67.1 years, compared with an average age of 70.6 years in the group that did not have diabetes.
Researchers observe that the only factor that predicted a heart attack after vascular surgery was having had a previous heart attack.
Archives of Surgery, April 2002