Diabetic Heart Attacks and Strokes Show Significant Decline

In the midst of the diabetes epidemic, a glimmer of good news: Heart attacks, strokes and other complications from the disease are plummeting.

Over the last two decades, the rates of heart attacks and strokes among diabetics fell by more than 60 percent, a new federal study shows. The research also confirms earlier reports of drastic declines in diabetes-related kidney failure and amputations.

The drop is mainly attributed to better screening, medicines and care. The improvements came even as the number of U.S. adults with diabetes more than tripled in those 20 years.

“It is great news,” said Dr. John Buse, a University of North Carolina diabetes specialist, of the drop in rates.

“The prognosis for folks with diabetes has improved dramatically over the last two decades, at least for those with good access to care,” Buse said in an email. He was not involved in the study.