Risk of Death By Heart Failure Increases With Recent Diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes


Individuals recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes were more likely to die from heart failure than any other cardiovascular disease, a study found.

Cardiovascular disease

A new study in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes found that the risk of death by heart failure increased in patients recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.1

Using a Danish health registry, the study examined 153,405 people who were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes between 1998 and 2015. Each year after the diagnosis, estimates of the 5-year risks of death, 5-year risk ratios, and 5-year lifespan decrease were made, all associated with the development of heart failure, ischemic heart disease, stroke, peripheral artery disease, and chronic kidney disease. The individuals were followed for a median of 9.7 years.1

The study discovered that the 5-year risk ratio of death from heart failure after an individual was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes was 3 times higher than patients who were free of diagnoses. Risk ratios were lower for the other diagnoses of ischemic heart disease, stroke, chronic kidney disease, and peripheral artery disease, meaning that heart failure consistently proved to be the greatest risk of death and decreased lifespan compared with other cardiovascular or renal conditions.1

Heart failure is 2 to 4 times more likely to develop in patients with type 2 diabetes. Prior studies focused on patients who had been diagnosed with diabetes for a long time. This study differed in its focus on recent diagnoses.2

The study was limited by a lack of information about certain clinical factors that might detail the progression and severity of heart failure and type 2 diabetes. The study also did not include any potential medicinal treatment the individuals in the sample might have taken.2

Yet, the findings have illuminated more information about at-risk individuals within the type 2 diabetes population, said lead study author Dr Bochra Zareini, MD, a research fellow at Herlev Gentofte University Hospital in Copenhagen, Denmark. “Our study highlights which subgroups of patients need and could benefit most from targeted risk evaluation, prevention and treatment.”2


  1. Zareini B, Blanche P, D’Souza M, et al. Type 2 diabetes mellitus and impact of heart failure on prognosis compared to other cardiovascular diseases. Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. 2020.https://doi.org/10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.119.006260 
  2. Diabetes diagnosis soon followed by heart failure could boost death risk. News Release. American Heart Association; June 23, 2020. Accessed June 30, 2020. https://www.heart.org/en/news/2020/06/23/diabetes-diagnosis-soon-followed-by-heart-failure-could-boost-death-risk

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