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At The Heart of Diabetes

By Dr. Francine Kaufman

Chief Medical Officer

Posted:  2/17/2012 11:14 PM


As I am sure you already know, there are long-term complications associated with diabetes and the goal of effective diabetes management is to prevent these complications from developing. The most common long-term complication is heart disease, also called coronary artery disease and abbreviated as CAD. In fact, diabetes is an independent risk factor for CAD, which means like high blood pressure and high cholesterol, diabetes itself increases the risk that a person with this disease will develop CAD. Sadly, CAD will ultimately be responsible for nearly 60% of the deaths seen amongst those with diabetes*.

Since February is heart month, I encourage everyone with diabetes to adopt healthy lifestyle habits and take the appropriate steps to manage your disease.  Do everything you can to reduce the other risk factors for CAD which include:
• Smoking (a history of smoking is also a risk factor)
• High blood pressure
• High cholesterol
• Obesity

And of course be aware that a family history of heart disease is also a risk factor.

Speak with your healthcare professional about getting the help you need to lower your risk.

New Treatment Option for People with Diabetes
At Medtronic, we have an ongoing commitment to develop and evaluate therapies specifically for people with diabetes.  This is done to help improve the quality of life of people with this disease. When it was recognized  that diabetes patients have an excess of complications when they are being treated for CAD, we tried to determine ways to reduce the complication rate.

Medtronic’s Cardiac and Vascular Group performed clinical trials on its new Resolute Integrity drug-eluting stent (DES) and showed it had a benefit for people with diabetes.  As a result, the FDA today allowed us to announce that  the Resolute Integrity drug-eluting stent (DES) just became the first stent to be approved for treating patients with CAD who also have diabetes. 

This means that with this new clinically-validated treatment option, people with diabetes who may have been subjected to open heart surgery may now  benefit from a minimally invasive procedure with the Resolute Integrity DES.

To obtain this indication, the stent was studied in over 1,500 patients with diabetes – a significant portion of the over 5,000 patients who participated in the entire global clinical program. The studies found that the Resolute Integrity DES showed consistently strong performance in both patients with diabetes and those without diabetes.

Remember to talk to your doctor about your risk for heart disease, and if you’ve been diagnosed with heart disease, ask your  cardiologist about this latest  advances for people with diabetes. Also visit for further details.

- The Resolute Integrity drug-eluting stent (DES) is limited to sale by or on the order of a physician and should only be implanted by a physician who is familiar with the risks associated with drug-eluting stents.

Which patients are eligible for treatment?
- The Resolute Integrity DES is indicated for improving the diameter of coronary arteries in patients, including those with diabetes mellitus, who experience symptomatic heart disease due to narrowing in native arteries that are less than or equal to 27 mm in length and estimated by a physician to be 2.25 mm to 4.20 mm in diameter.
- The Resolute Integrity DES is not for everyone, and a physician must determine if a patient should be treated. Patients who are allergic to the stent materials or unable to take dual anti-platelet medications should not receive drug eluting stents, due to risk of clotting in the stented artery.

What are the risks?
- Drug eluting stents carry risks such as heart attack, death and bleeding at the catheter insertion site. Risks of drug-eluting stents vary slightly among different brands, and a cardiologist will choose the stent that’s appropriate for each patient and discuss the risks in more detail.

Please visit for complete safety information.

* Tan, Meng Hee. From Research to Practice Diabetes and Coronary Heart Disease. Diabetes Spectrum1999; 12: 80-83.



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