Diabetes mellitus (DM) markedly potentiates the risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality among individuals with diabetes as compared to the non-diabetic population. After myocardial infarction (MI), DM patients have a higher incidence of death than do non-diabetics. The excess mortality and poor prognosis of these patients results primarily from the development of recurrent MI and heart failure (HF). Although several lines of evidence support a role for increased oxidative stress in a range of cardiovascular diseases, clinical trials examining the therapeutic efficacy of antioxidants have yielded conflicting results. The reasons for these incongruous results is multifactorial. An underlying theme has been lack of patient inclusion based on elevated indices of oxidative stress which could have diluted the population susceptible to benefit in the clinical trials. Laboratory evidence has accumulated indicating that oxidative stress is dramatically accentuated in cardiac abnormalities inherent in DM. In this review, we provide the emergence of experimental and clinical evidence supporting antioxidant supplementation as a cardioprotective intervention in the setting of DM. Specifically, focus will be directed on preclinical animal studies and human clinical trials that have tested the effect of antioxidant supplements on MI and HF events in the presence of DM.
Keywords: Antioxidants, diabetic cardiomyopathy, diabetes mellitus, heart failure, myocardial infarction, oxidative stress
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