Research has suggested that heartand kidney disease play greater roles asrisk factors for sudden cardiac death inpatients with diabetes. Originally, diabeticautonomic neuropathy was alwaysbelieved the main risk factor. The studyinvolved 462 patients with diabetes whowere followed for 15 years. Of thepatients, the researchers documented 21cases of sudden cardiac death.
Reporting in the Journal of Neurology,Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry (February2005), the researchers found that heartdisease, including plaques in the bloodvessels feeding the heart and heartattacks, was the biggest risk for suddencardiac death. The researchers notedthat all of the participants who died hadsome amount of plaque buildup. Kidneydisease was also found as a key risk factorfor the sudden cardiac death.