Back to top

ARC EM researchers warn other ‘major health pandemics’ require urgent attention

Heart failure together with type 2 diabetes and diabetic chronic kidney disease (CKD) are “major pandemics of the 21st century”, ARC East Midlands researchers have warned.

Dr Claire Lawson and Dr Samuel Seidu, based in Leicester, led a study which has looked at the impact of all three health conditions and how they increase the risk of early death.

Their work discovered that mortality rates and hospital admission numbers are higher among those who have heart failure and then develop either diabetes or CKD. The figures were even worse among those who had both health conditions in addition to their heart failure.   

Although outcomes have improved over time for people with heart failure and type 2 diabetes, this improvement is reduced when CKD is present at all stages of renal dysfunction, the research found.  

Dr Seidu, head of Research for Primary Care Diabetes Europe (PCDE) and an NIHR researcher for the Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) East Midlands, said: “Globally, heart failure affects at least 26 million people and is increasing in prevalence. The condition impacts between one and two per cent of the general population, increasing to five and 10 per cent in the over 65s. 

“Even with improved therapies, the mortality rate remains high, with approximately 50 per cent of people dying within just five years of diagnosis.”

Dr Lawson, Advanced NIHR fellow, who co-led the study, said: “Heart failure together with type 2 diabetes and kidney disease are major pandemics of the 21st century and our research shows that strategies to prevent and manage CKD in people with heart failure are urgently needed.”

Professor Kamlesh Khunti, Director of NIHR ARC East Midlands, said: “We are in the midst of battling the COVID-19 pandemic, but we must not forget all the other health conditions which significantly impact people and their quality of life.

“It’s crucial we continue carrying out research in other areas of health so we can keep fighting them and giving them the attention the need. These chronic conditions often occur together, with complex associations, which means we need more clarity between each of the three conditions and adverse outcomes.”

Click here to read the research paper.

Published on: 3 Mar 2021