Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in industrialized countries and most patients with diabetes die from complications of atherosclerosis. The objective of this study was to determine the presence of diabetes mellitus and other conventional coronary heart disease risk factors (cigarette smoking, hypertension and hyperlipidemia) in patients with acute coronary events in an Iranian population.
The study included 514 patients with unstable angina or myocardial infarction (MI) out of 720 patients admitted to CCU ward of a general hospital from March 2003 to March 2005. History of diabetes, hypertension and cigarette smoking, demographic indices, coronary heart disease and diabetes mellitus treatment, myocardial enzymes, serum triglycerides (TG) and cholesterol and fasting and non fasting blood glucose levels and HbA1C of diabetics were recorded of admission sheets. The data were structured to appropriate one way ANOVA, T tests, and chi square test with SPSS 13 product for windows.
Out of all patients 35.8% were female, 30% were diabetics (Duration 13.4 ± 8.7 years), 42% were smoker and 91% were hypertensive. Twenty four percent had MI and 76% had unstable angina. MI was significantly higher in diabetic patients (36.4% vs. 19.2%, P < 0.001). Location and extension of MI and myocardial enzymes did not differ between diabetics and non-diabetic patients. Diabetic patients were older than non diabetics (65 ± 11.6 vs. 59.7 ± 12.5 years, p < 0.05). Five (66.7%) out of 9 patients with fatal MI were diabetics (Odds Ratio = 2.98). Age, duration of diabetes and HbA1c levels, did not differ between diabetic patients with or without MI. Hypertension and current smoking was significantly higher in patients with MI compared to patients with unstable angina (p < 0.05). Serum TG, HDL-C, LDL-C and total cholesterol level did not differ between patients with MI and unstable angina. Diabetic patients compare to non diabetic patients were more hypertensive (96% vs. 88.7%, p < 0.005) and had higher serum triglyceride (TG over 200 mg/dl, 35.1% vs. 26.4, p <0.05). Diabetes was more frequent among women than men (36.4% vs. 26.4%, p < 0.05). Women were older than men (65 ± 11.6 vs. 59.2 ± 13 years, p < 0.005) and had higher total serum cholesterol (200 ± 41.8 vs. 192 ± 42.5 mg/dl, p < 0.05) and HDL-C levels (49.7 ± 22 vs. 40 ± 13 mg/dl, p < 0.005). Ninety seven percent of all patients had at least one of cardiovascular risk factors (hypertension, smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol and low HDL-cholesterol levels).
In this study 19 out of 20 patients with acute coronary event have at least one of conventional cardiac risk factors. Diabetes and hypertension are leading risk factors, which may directly or indirectly interfere and predict more serious complications of coronary heart disease.