Background

Diabetes mellitus is a major risk factor for development of congestive heart failure (CHF). Data from the Framingham Study and other epidemiological databases indicate that diabetic patients have on the order of a two to threefold increase in the risk of developing CHF. Conversely, there is an overrepresentation of diabetic subjects in the population of patients with chronic CHF, including patients with dilated cardiomyopathy who do not have coronary artery disease or hypertension. (The term coronary artery disease is used here to denote the presence of what are considered to be hemodynamically significant stenoses in vessels large enough to be assessed by contrast angiography.) The common presence of coexistent hypertension markedly potentiates the risk of CHF, suggesting specific, deleterious interactions of the two disease processes. Diabetes, in addition to being a major risk factor for coronary artery disease, also has a potent and deleterious interaction with coronary disease with respect to the development of CHF. This is most striking in the setting of acute myocardial infarction, where diabetic patients have about a twofold greater risk of CHF and death compared to nondiabetic patients. This difference is not accounted for by the occurrence of large infarcts in diabetics. Not surprisingly, the ''triple threat'' combination of diabetes, hypertension, and coronary disease is especially lethal.

Blood Pressure Health

Blood Pressure Health

Your heart pumps blood throughout your body using a network of tubing called arteries and capillaries which return the blood back to your heart via your veins. Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as your heart beats.Learn more...

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