Diabetes is a condition in which the body can’t produce enough insulin or doesn’t use insulin properly. A recent study has linked diabetes to an increased risk of heart disease. Too much sugar in the blood can damage blood vessels and lead to heart disease. This can cause problems with blood sugar, including heart disease and stroke.
Does diabetes cause heart disease? Well, the study found that people with diabetes are three times as likely to develop atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) as people without diabetes. Atherosclerosis is a major cause of heart attack and death.
Diabetes and your heart
Diabetes is a major cause of heart disease. In people with diabetes, their blood sugar levels are either too high or too low. When blood sugar levels are too high, it can damage the small blood vessels in the heart. When blood sugar levels are too low, it can cause a decrease in the amount of oxygen that reaches the heart muscle. This can lead to heart failure and death.
Risk factors for heart disease in people with diabetes
Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a major risk factor for heart disease, and there are many ways that diabetes can increase your risk. Diabetes affects your blood sugar levels and how well your body uses insulin to control them. This can lead to problems with cholesterol, blood pressure, weight gain, and heart disease. Here are some of the key risk factors for heart disease in people with diabetes:
- People with type 1 diabetes are at a higher risk of heart disease than people without diabetes. In some studies, people with type 1 diabetes have almost twice the risk of heart attack or stroke as those without it.
- Having type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) increases your risk of developing coronary artery disease by up to threefold. T2DM also increases your risk of heart attack and stroke.
- Diabetes can affect your blood pressure (blood vessels in the body). Having high blood pressure increases your risk of heart disease.
- Diabetes can affect your body’s ability to make and use the hormone insulin (insulin resistance). Insulin resistance in the body is a major cause of heart disease.
- People with diabetes are more likely to have high levels of triglycerides in their blood. High triglycerides can cause heart disease, stroke, and death.
Prevention tips for people with diabetes and heart disease
Prevention for people with diabetes and heart disease includes taking steps to maintain blood sugar levels within a healthy range, maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding tobacco use, maintaining good cholesterol levels, having regular diabetes tests and getting regular exercise. Additional preventive measures include screening for heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure and cholesterol, keeping up with check-ups including an electrocardiogram (EKG) and annual physical examination, and instituting medical management guidelines when indicated.
Lifestyle modifications are the key to preventing both diabetes and heart disease. Make sure to get regular physical activity, eat a balanced diet, and maintain a healthy weight. If you have diabetes, make sure to monitor your blood sugar regularly and seek professional help if you have any problems. And finally, keep your heart healthy by maintaining a normal BMI and avoiding smoking, drinking excessively, and engaging in risky behaviors.