HFSA 2013: HF Patients With Diabetes Benefit From LVADs

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The Particulars: Anecdotal evidence suggests that blood sugar control improves in patients with HF and diabetes after they undergo left ventricular assist device (LVAD) placement. Studies have not determined whether this is an actual effect or simply happenstance.

Data Breakdown: For a study, researched reviewed data on diabetes management for patients with implanted LVADs. Patients requiring insulin decreased their use of the drug from 53 units before LVAD implantation to 35 units at about 5 months after these devices were implanted. The average fasting blood glucose among all participants decreased from 136 mg/dL before receiving an LVAD to 108 mg/dL after receiving the device. A1C levels also improved following LVAD implantation.

Take Home Pearls: Patients with HF and diabetes appear to have better glycemic control following LVAD implantation. Additional research is required to determine the cause of this effect and whether improved glycemic control results in better cardiovascular outcomes.

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