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Failure to diagnose diabetes may lead to heart attacks

Diabetes is a growing medical issue across the country, including Maryland. The principal forms of the disease currently affect 25.8 million people in the United States. Identifying and treating diabetes is crucial because the disease can create a variety of complications that lead to other potentially fatal health problems. One recent study, for example, found that a growing number of people with undiagnosed diabetes run the risk of heart attacks.

The research was based on a study of 24 hospitals treating almost 3,000 heart attack patients who had been unaware they were diabetic. Diabetes increases blood sugar and severely raises the risk of heart attack. Based on American Heart Association statistics, two out of three diabetics die of a cardiovascular condition. Ten percent of people who had undiagnosed diabetes suffered a heart attack. The failure to properly diagnose diabetes has been an issue for some time and continues to be a problem. According to the study, doctors were unable to recognize the disease in 69 percent of undiagnosed patients.

Six months after their hospital discharge, only seven percent of heart attack victims with undiagnosed diabetes had started treatment for their disease, a disturbingly low figure. Early detection and treatment of diabetes is crucial in preventing cardiovascular complications and determining the specific treatment a patient with coronary artery disease will need to better prevent a heart attack.

Failure to diagnose diabetes, misdiagnosis of cancer and other medical mistakes deprive people of the chance to live healthier lives by addressing their illnesses with the right medical treatment. These failures can even cost them their lives. Anyone victimized by such costly mistakes should contemplate filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. The legal action may lead to a monetary award that can help with medical treatment and also hold negligent medical practitioners accountable for their mistakes.

Source: Medical Daily, "Diabetes May Cause Heart Attacks When Doctors Fail To Diagnosis The Disease," Samantha Olson, June 2, 2014

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