Health Tip – Apr. 10 – Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes
Dee Dee – Health Tip
Heart diseases and stroke are the No. 1 causes of death and disability among people with type 2 diabetes. In fact, at least 65 percent of people with diabetes die from some from of heart disease or stroke. Adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have heart disease or a stroke than adults without diabetes. The American Heart Association considers diabetes to be one of the seven major controllable risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
Diabetes is treatable, but even when glucose levels are under control it greatly increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. That’s because people with diabetes, particularly type 2 diabetes, often have the following conditions that contribute to their risk for developing cardiovascular disease.
1. High blood pressure: Studies report a positive association between hypertension and insulin resistance. When patients have both hypertension and diabetes, which is a common combination, their risk for cardiovascular disease doubles.
2. Abnormal cholesterol and high triglycerides: Patients with diabetes often have unhealthy cholestrol levels including high LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, low HDL (“good”) cholesterol, and high triglycerides. This triad of poor lipid counts often occurs in patients with premature coronary heart disease.
3. Obesity: Obesity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and has been strongly associated with insulin resistance.
4. Lack of physical activity: Physical inactivity is another modifiable major risk factor for insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease.
5. Poorly controlled blood sugars (too high) or out of normal range: Diabetes can cause blood sugar to rise to dangerous levels. Medications may be needed to manage blood sugar.
6. Smoking: Smoking puts individuals, whether or not they have diabetes, at higher risk for heart disease and stroke.
Individuals with insulin resistance or diabetes in combination with one or more of these risk factors are more likely to fall victim to heart disease or stroke. However, by controlling these risk factors, diabetes patients may avoid or delay the development of heart and blood vessel disease. Your health care provider will do periodic testing to assess whether you have developed any of these risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease.