Low blood sugar ups heart attack risk: study
Low blood sugar level may lead to heart rhythm disturbances and even life-threatening heart attacks, an alarming study shows.
Low overnight blood sugar levels that often go undetected cause prolonged periods of heart rhythm disturbances in older patients with type 2 diabetes and associated heart problems,
'What we have found is potentially important in explaining a possible mechanism by which low overnight blood sugars lead to prolonged, slow heart rates that could disturb blood flow to the heart, causing life-threatening heart attacks,' said
Through continuous glucose monitoring and electrocardiograms, the researchers tracked blood glucose levels and heart rates over a week in a group of older patients with Type 2 diabetes and a history of cardiovascular disease.
'While we expected to find some low overnight blood sugars we were startled to find how extensively it was occurring overnight and that it was sometimes lasting for several hours,' Heller noted.
Previous research has focused on the effects of high blood sugars on patients with diabetes, so more research was needed to understand how low blood sugars in patients with Type 2 diabetes caused irregular heartbeats, Heller emphasised.