New research shows that the number of heart attacks suffered by people with diabetes doubled over a 10-year period.
A study presented at Diabetes UK's annual professional conference in Glasgow showed that type 2 diabetics only accounted for 7.2% of hospital admissions for heart attacks in 1996-97, but the figure jumped to 13.9% in 2005-06.
The study found that the total number of attacks among diabetics rose from 5,861 to 12,824 over the period.
The researchers said that the data corresponds with a rise in the number of people living with diagnosed type 2 diabetes in the UK, from around 1.15 million in 1996 to around 1.9 million in 2005-06.
Douglas Smallwood, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: "This research is particularly worrying as 100,000 people are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes every year and around 80% of people with diabetes die of heart related complications.
"However, good diabetes management can reduce the risk of heart disease by 56%.
"It is vital that people with diabetes have access to high-quality care to enable them to control their condition, or we could see this heart timebomb explode with huge costs to people's health and an already overburdened NHS."