In patients with type 2 diabetes, the heart becomes starved of energy, leading to decreased recovery in the event of a heart attack. Diabetes is associated with high blood glucose and high blood lipids. Diabetes research tends to focus on the effects of high glucose, but changes in glucose concentrations do not explain why there is an energy deficit in the heart in type 2 diabetes.
It is known that the heart becomes laden with lipids in diabetes. Yet, there have been very few studies investigating the consequences of these high levels of lipids in the heart. Neither the specific lipids causing the metabolic upheaval that leads to energy starvation in the heart, nor the signalling pathways on which they are exerting these effects, have been identified.