Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Exercise Test Predicts Heart Problems In Diabetics

The way the heart moves during exercise echocardiography, an ultrasound test performed during treadmill exercise, can help doctors identify diabetics who are at risk for heart attacks and related problems, according to a report in the journal Cardiovascular Ultrasound. Dr. Joselina L. M. Oliveira of Brazil's Federal University of Sergipe and colleagues observe that although the prognostic value of the approach has been established in the general population, less is known about its ability to predict heart problems in diabetics. To investigate, the researchers reviewed data on 193 diabetic patients who were followed for around 29 months after exercise echocardiography. Twenty-four patients experienced heart problems, including fatal and non-fatal heart attacks. Nearly 21 percent of patients with an abnormal echocardiography result experienced a heart problem compared with just 7 percent of patients with a normal result. On final analysis, patients with an abnormal echocardiography results were nearly four times more likely to experience a heart problem than those with normal results. A sedentary lifestyle was also a key predictor of heart problems, more than doubling the risk.”

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