What happens in a heart attack is that the blood supply to a piece of the heart muscle is cut off and the heart muscle dies. This can, of course, damage the heart so much that the person dies from the heart attack (if it’s a very big one) or it can damage the heart to the degree that patients develop heart failure – shortness of breath, fatigue, and swelling of their legs. The diabetic who has a heart attack is at higher risk for complications in the healing period after the heart attack than a person who has a heart attack who hasn’t had diabetes. One of the reasons for that is that we’re treating not only the physical complication of the injury to the heart but we’re also treating the chemical reactions that occur to the diabetic state is often worsened immediately after something like a heart attack (just like after an infection) so you have a more complicated patient to take care of who is at higher risk for other complications (such as heart failure) or even from not surviving the heart attack.
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