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Timely diabetes diagnosis imperative for patient health

When a loved one has a medical emergency, we expect doctors and hospital staff to properly diagnose what happened and what caused it. With this expectation, we put a lot of trust and confidence in our doctors to run the right tests and make the right calls when it comes to diagnosing. However, it is this high level of trust that makes failure to diagnose or delayed diagnosis cases especially difficult to emotionally deal with.

Recently, researchers found a connection between heart attacks and undiagnosed diabetes. The findings of this study were shared at an American Heart Association's conference. Given the fact that the connection was found between undiagnosed diabetes and heart attacks, one can clearly see the importance of being properly diagnosed in a timely manner.

To get these findings, researchers analyzed patient records at 24 hospitals in the U.S. These records included 2,854 heart attack patients with diabetes. However, at the onset, these heart attack patients did not know they had diabetes. Rather, it was not until their A1C levels were checked that these patients were properly diagnosed. 

This is particularly alarming, considering the fact that the American Heart Association reports that cardiovascular disease is the cause of death for two out of every three people with diabetes. Additionally, since diabetes can cause blood sugar levels to dangerously spike, this increases the risk of heart attack. Given the reported connection, one would assume the earlier a diabetes diagnosis, the better for the patient.

In the end, the takeaway is that it is imperative for doctors to recognize the symptoms of diabetes and order the correct tests to get the proper diagnosis. 

Source: Medical Daily, "Diabetes May Cause Heart Attacks When Doctors Fail To Diagnosis The Disease," Samantha Olson, June 3, 2014

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