HealthDay News — Among patients with type 2 diabetes and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD), sudden death is the most common category of cardiovascular (CV) mortality, according to a study published in Diabetes Care.

Abhinav Sharma, MD, from Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, and colleagues used data from 14,671 patients in the Trial Evaluating Cardiovascular Outcomes with Sitagliptin (TECOS) study to evaluate the specific causes of death and their associated risk factors in patients with type 2 diabetes and ASCVD.

The researchers identified 1084 deaths and characterized 530 of them as CV (1.2/100 patient-years [PY]; 49% of deaths), 338 as non-CV (0.77/100 PY; 31% of deaths), and 216 as unknown (0.49/100 PY; 20% of deaths).

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Sudden death was the most common CV death (27% of CV deaths) followed by acute myocardial infarction/stroke (21% of CV deaths) and heart failure (12% of CV deaths). For non-CV death, malignancy was the most common (46% of non-CV deaths).

“Heart failure prevention may represent an avenue to reduce the risk of specific CV death subcategories,” write the authors.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry, including Merck & Co., which funded the study.

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Sharma A, Green JB, Dunning A, et al. Causes of death in a contemporary cohort of patients with type 2 diabetes and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease: insights from the TECOS trial [published online October 6, 2017]. Diabetes Care. doi: 10.2337/dc17-1091