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Better diagnosis of diabetes could help prevent heart attacks

For anyone in Oneida who has wondered how doctors can tell if a patient has diabetes, the easiest way is to test the patient's A1C levels. By ordering a simple test, doctors can learn a patient's blood sugar levels for the past two to three months. If it is that easy, why are there an estimated 7 million people in the country whose diabetes is undiagnosed?

What is even more frightening is that undiagnosed diabetes has been linked to heart attacks. Roughly one in 10 people who have had heart attacks have undiagnosed diabetes, Had these individuals known of their diabetes and taken the steps necessary to regulate their weight, blood sugar and other factors, it is possible that they would have been able to avoid the heart attack altogether.

Not only does a failure to diagnose diabetes put a patient at risk of a heart attack, but it also dictates how likely a person is to seek diabetes treatment. Since untreated diabetes could lead to a subsequent heart attack, heart disease and a host of medical conditions, it is important that doctors do what they can to get their patients into diabetic treatment.

If someone is property diagnosed with diabetes, he or she is likely to seek out treatment. In fact, 71 percent of people who are diagnosed will get help. Only 7 percent of people who were discharged from the hospital following a heart attack and without being diagnosed with diabetes will seek out treatment within six months.

Diabetes and heart attacks are more prevalent than ever, and there is a great need for early diagnosis and treatment. Should a doctor fail to do so, he or she is putting his or her patients at risk for very serious medical complications.

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

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