Report: Fewer diabetic seniors found at risk for serious heart problems

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Far fewer seniors with type 2 diabetes are at risk from silent myocardial ischemia (restricted blood flow to the heart) than originally thought, according to new research.

Silent myocardial ischemia had been thought to afflict roughly 60% of type 2 diabetics. Researchers from the Yale University School of Medicine who screened a group of elderly diabetics for the disorder, however, found that the number is actually closer to 22%. This lower occurrence indicates that not all seniors with type 2 diabetes will require coronary artery disease screening, according to lead author Dr. Frans J. Wackers, professor emeritus of Diagnostic Radiology at Yale.

Of the members of the control group who were not screened for a heart disorder, 30% independently underwent some form of cardiac diagnostic test and treatment. Researchers suggest that, since this group likely has a similar rate of ischemia, routine check-ups and follow-ups may be all that's needed to diagnose and treat those who need cardio-care.