Clot Chronicles: Blood Clots and Diabetes

Dr. Sam Goldhaber discusses the relationship between blood clots and diabetes and the new role that cardiologists are starting to adopt to help diabetes patients.

Hello, I’m Dr. Sam Goldhaber, President of NATF, and this is the Clot Chronicles.

Today, I’m going to speak about the relationship between blood clots and thrombosis with diabetes. In particular, we, who are cardiologists, have dealt with blood clots to treat heart attack, to treat stroke and to treat pulmonary embolism (PE) and deep vein thrombosis (DVT), but we’ve generally stayed away from treating diabetes. We’ve left diabetes care and treatment for the internal medicine doctor and the endocrinologist specializing in insulin and other treatments of diabetes, but now we’re undergoing a major shift. Now, we’re thinking we believe that diabetes and central obesity, along with low HDL cholesterol levels and high triglyceride levels, constitute an entity called metabolic syndrome and that metabolic syndrome is a cause of thrombosis.

Also, a variety of really miracle-like drugs have come along. These drugs were originally designed to be treatments for diabetes either instead of insulin, or along with insulin, but much to everybody’s surprise, these new generations of diabetes medications had much more of an affect on reducing heart attack, reducing stroke, and reducing cardiovascular death, than they did on diabetes. So, because of these new drugs’ really miraculous decrease in cardiovascular events, we, the cardiologists, have to become involved with diabetes and we have to learn how to use these new classes of diabetes medication. We don’t really understand why these new diabetes medications have such a profound beneficial effect in reducing thrombosis and reducing heart attack, stroke and, cardiovascular death, but, as we go on in our own practices and as we train young physicians and other healthcare providers, we know we’re going to have to become, in a sense, diabetologists as well as cardiologists.

This is Dr. Sam Goldhaber signing off for Clot Chronicles.

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