A recent study has shown that the link between diabetes and heart attacks could be worse than we originally thought. Sure, we’ve always known that being diabetic increases the chance of having cardiovascular complications like heart attacks, but most people don’t realize just how much diabetes impacts our hearts.

The study was completed at the University of Leeds and was published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. The researchers looked at 700,000 people that went to the hospital for a heart attack between the years of 2003 and 2013. Looking at the data, the researchers found that 121,000 of those people that had a heart attack also had diabetes.

life insurance and diabetesThe researchers showed that diabetics are 56% more likely to die if they had an ST elevation myocardial infarction heart attack, which basically means their coronary artery was fully blocked. For those that experienced a heart attack because of a partially blocked artery, diabetics only had a 39% increased chance of dying. For a lot of diabetics, these numbers of eye opening and can even be a little scary.

We’ve known that diabetes and heart attacks are close buddies, but we didn’t know how close. Mike Knapton, who is the associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, had some interesting thoughts on the study and how it impacts diabetics, “However, we did not know if this observation was due to having diabetes or having other conditions which are commonly seen in people with diabetes. This paper is the first to show conclusively that the adverse effect on survival is linked to having diabetes, rather than other conditions people with diabetes may suffer from”. He went on to stress the importance of managing your diabetes and the impact it can have on reducing the risk of having cardiovascular complications.

Sure, having a 50% higher risk of dying from a heart attack can be terrifying for anyone with diabetes, but it doesn’t have to be. This is just another reason that it’s important to carefully manage your glucose levels as if we didn’t have enough reasons already. Keeping your A1C levels at a healthy range can drastically reduce our chances of having diabetes-related complications like cardiovascular disease.

With all of the advances in medical technology, the chances of surviving a heart attack are better than ever. Once upon a time, if someone had a heart attack, the chances of surviving were small, but those days are long gone. As long as the patient receives care in enough time, the majority of people recover from their heart attack with few complications.

Heart Attack Stats

Americans. In the United State alone someone has a heart attack every 34 seconds. And a person dies from a heart attack every minute.  Every year over 700,000 people a have a heart attack and over 200,000 of those have already had a heart attack.

Bad news for the women out there. Heart disease impacts you worse than men. Around 43 million women are affected by heart complications in the United States. For over two decades, more women die from heart disease and complications than men do. If you’re a woman with diabetes, don’t worry. A healthy lifestyle with exercise and diet can keep you in good health. While the odds might be stacked against you, lifestyle choices are some of the biggest factors in determining you health, not your gender or your diabetes.