A heart scan may be a valuable tool in forecasting deadly heart problems in women with diabetes. Dobutamine stress echocardiography tests are ultrasound heart scans in which patients are injected with medication that increases the heartbeat to verify whether patients have heart wall defects. The researchers based their recommendation on an evaluation of 421 women, aged 49 to 75 years, with diabetes.
"Our research is extremely important because women in this age group are historically underdiagnosed, and by detecting problems earlier we can help prevent heart attack or death and extend these women's lives," said researcher Melda Dolan, MD. (The findings were reported recently at the annual American Heart Association meeting.)