Skip to content

    Diabetes Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Study Explains Why Diabetics Face High Risk From Angioplasty


    WebMD Health News
    Reviewed by Gary D. Vogin, MD

    March 5, 2001 -- It is well known that patients with diabetes who undergo a common procedure for opening clogged heart vessels are more likely to die after the procedure than nondiabetics. But why?

    Now, a new study appears to provide the answer. Researchers have found that when patients with diabetes undergo balloon angioplasty -- a procedure in which a deflated balloon is inserted into a clogged heart artery, then inflated to unclog the area -- the vessels are much more likely to clog again in diabetic patients than they would in nondiabetic patients.

    This clogging phenomenon is known as "restenosis." In particular, it appears that diabetics are at risk for an especially severe form of restenosis known as "occlusion," in which the vessel almost completely closes, according to Eric Van Belle, MD, PhD, of the University of Lille, in France.

    Targeting occlusive restenosis in diabetic patients is likely to save lives. "Our study provides an explanation for the previous observation of the poor outcome of diabetic patients after coronary balloon angioplasty, and suggests a new therapeutic target to improve the outcome of these patients," Van Belle tells WebMD.

    Specifically, he suggests that diabetic patients who undergo the procedure might benefit from the use of a stent, a tube that can be implanted in the artery during angioplasty to keep the artery open. In addition, drugs that prevent blood clotting, specifically the ones called antiplatelet agents, may help prevent restenosis, he says.

    Because the stent remains in the vessel, it can prevent it from clogging long after the procedure is completed. "Based on available data, the use of stents ... should drop the risk of occlusive restenosis in diabetics patients from the 15% range to about 5%," Van Belle tells WebMD.

    In the study, over 500 patients with diabetes who underwent angioplasty were followed for an average of six-and-half years. During this period, exactly half of the patients experienced partial blockage. Another 18% experienced almost complete blockage, according to the report.

    Of those patients who experienced almost complete blockage, 59% later died. But even among the group whose artery was not completely closed, about a third later died, according to the report.

    1 | 2 | 3

    Today on WebMD

    Diabetic tools
    Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
    woman flexing muscles
    10 strength training exercises.
     
    Blood sugar test
    12 practical tips.
    Tom Hanks
    Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
     
    kenneth fujioka, md
    Video
    Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
    Article
     
    Middle aged person
    Tool
    jennie brand miller
    Video
     

    Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
    Article
    type 2 diabetes
    Slideshow
     
    food fitness planner
    Tool
    feet
    Slideshow