Anemic diabetics may have higher risk of heart complications

Individuals with untreated type 1 or type 2 diabetes may be at an increased risk of becoming anemic. Now, a new study has found that diabetics who do not respond well to anemia medications may be at a higher risk for developing heart disease.

The study, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, says that diabetic patients who show signs of anemia should be tested for heart health to make sure they do not have a cardiovascular problem.

For the study, researchers from the University of Texas Southwest Medical Center tested the effects of darbepoetin alpha, a common anti-anemia drug, on more than 4,000 participants who had both the blood disorder and diabetes.

The researchers found that those who did not respond to the drug were more likely to develop heart disease, suffer a stroke or heart attack or die during the course of the study.

"These patients required higher doses and ended up having lower hemoglobin anyway," said Dr. Robert Toto, who led the study. "The results of this study might lead us in directions that can help."
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