Peer Reviewed
Diabetic urgencies

Is this woman with diabetes having a heart attack?

Pat Phillips
A myocardial infarction in a person with type 2 diabetes may be asymptomatic or atypically symptomatic rather than typically symptomatic. Appreciation of the increased coronary risk conferred by diabetes and early recognition of symptoms should prompt a patient to seek assistance sooner rather than later, thus optimising clinical outcomes.
Key Points

    A crushing precordial pain radiating to the neck and left arm is the classic symptom complex of a myocardial infarction (MI). In people with diabetes, however, an MI may be asymptomatic or atypically symptomatic, and diagnosis can be difficult. It is important that these patients recognise the symptoms that should prompt them to seek help as the earlier they present then the greater their chance of receiving the acute interventions that can make a difference to their clinical outcomes.

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