Perspective Review: Type 2 Diabetes and Readmission for Heart Failure

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Heart failure is a leading cause for hospitalisation and for readmission, especially in patients over the age of 65. Diabetes is an increasingly common companion to heart failure. The presence of diabetes and its associated comorbidity increases the risk of adverse outcomes and premature mortality in patients with heart failure. In particular, patients with diabetes are more likely to be readmitted to hospital soon after discharge. This may partly reflect the greater severity of heart disease in these patients. In addition, agents that reduce the chances of readmission such as β-blockers, renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system blockers, and mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists are underutilised because of the perceived increased risks of adverse drug reactions and other limitations. In some cases, readmission to hospital is precipitated by acute decompensation of heart failure (re-exacerbation) leading to pulmonary congestion and/or refractory oedema. However, it appears that for most of the patients admitted and then discharged with a primary diagnosis of heart failure, most readmissions are not due to heart failure, but rather due to comorbidity including arrhythmia, infection, adverse drug reactions, and renal impairment/reduced hydration. All of these are more common in patients who also have diabetes, and all may be partly preventable. The many different reasons for readmission underline the critical value of multidisciplinary comprehensive care in patients admitted with heart failure, especially those with diabetes. A number of new strategies are also being developed to address this area of need, including the use of SGLT2 inhibitors, novel nonsteroidal mineralocorticoid antagonists, and neprilysin inhibitors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Medicine Insights: Cardiology
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2018


  • Diabetes
  • heart failure
  • hospitalisation
  • readmission
  • type 2 diabetes

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