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Diabetes has long been considered a risk factor for death or heart problems following major blood vessel surgery. A new study, published in the Archives of Surgery (April 2002), however, has found that patients with diabetes are no more likely to experience serious problems following major vascular surgery than individuals without diabetes.
The study examined data on >6,500 major vascular procedures at a single hospital over a 10-year period. Nearly two thirds of the patients were diabetic, with an average age of about 67 years. The average age of those without diabetes was about 71 years. ?We found that not only was diabetes not an independent predictor of poor outcomes,?
Dr. Allan D. Hamdan, the lead researcher said, ?it was associated with decreased mortality.? Dr. Hamdan suggested that, because of their disease, diabetic patients were evaluated more aggressively preopera-tively. ?I?m not saying that it?s beneficial to have diabetes, but that diabetes in and of itself should not preclude someone from undergoing a major vascular procedure,? he added.