n Cardiovascular Journal of South Africa - The contribution of diabetes mellitus to the severity of coronary artery disease : cardiovascular topics




Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the most common chronic, life-threatening illness in many Western countries. The risk factors associated with diabetes mellitus and the metabolic syndrome in diabetics are generally considered more important in the evolution of CAD than the diabetic state itself.

This study was undertaken to determine the contribution of diabetes mellitus to the characteristics and severity of coronary artery disease among young patients.
Thirty diabetics (group 1) were selected from a group of young patients (≤ 45 years) with ischaemic heart disease, which was documented angiographically. For this retrospective, case-controlled study, 60 non-diabetic patients with CAD (group 2) were matched for gender, age, LDL level, hypertension, smoking, family history and obesity. These diabetic and non-diabetic groups were compared for different outcomes of coronary artery disease.
Group 1 had a higher incidence of three-vessel coronary involvement (56.7 vs 20%; < 0.05) and more hospitalisations for ischaemic episodes (4 ± 4.5 vs 2.1 ± 1.8; < 0.05) than group 2. They also had more previous myocardial infarctions, longer intervals between their first admission and the current hospitalisation, and more common left main coronary artery disease.
Diabetes mellitus contributes significantly to the severity of CAD.


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