Diabetes and various heart diseases

Heart disease is a common ailment for people suffering from diabetes. If you have diabetes, it is important to understand the risk of heart disease that is associated with it and what measures you can take to lower the risks.

Over the years, elevated blood sugar levels slowly cause damage to blood vessels throughout the body. This has a very drastic impact on your heart tissue. As a result, heart disease is a prevalent risk among people with diabetes.

If you have diabetes, talk to your doctor. Your doctor can help you identify your personal risk for heart problems.

Diabetes and Heart Disease Correlation:

The following statistics will help provide a better understanding of the correlation between diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease (CVD):

  • Heart diseases and stroke are the No. 1 causes of death and disability among people with type 2 diabetes. At least 65 % of people with diabetes die from some form of heart disease or stroke.
  • Adults with diabetes are 2 to 4 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.
  • People with diabetes develop heart disease at a younger age than people without diabetes.

Risk Factors for Heart Disease and Diabetes

Certain risk factors are known to elevate the risk of heart disease in people with diabetes. People with diabetes often have a group of factors known as metabolic syndrome, that contribute to heart disease known as metabolic syndrome. Having diabetes as a part of metabolic syndrome could lead to an increase risk for heart disease.

Metabolic syndrome is a cumulative effect of several factors, such as:

  • Abdominal obesity
  • Abnormal cholesterol levels -- a low HDL (High density Lipoprotein) "good" cholesterol, a high LDL (Low density Lipoprotein) "bad" cholesterol, or a high triglyceride level.
  • Elevated blood pressure.

In addition, other factors can increase the risk of heart disease for people with diabetes even more. They include:

  • Smoking
  • Having a family member with heart disease
  • A diet high in saturated fat and cholesterol

Experts recommend ABC’s to make sure about the efficacy of diabetes treatment.

A1c: Hemoglobin A1c test is also called as glycosolated hemoglobin or glycated hemoglobin test. This blood test gives a rough assessment of your blood sugar control over the last 3 months. Target A1C range would be to keep it in the upper limits of normal (6.0 to 7.0%).

Blood pressure: As a diabetic, the blood pressure has to be less than 130/80 mmHg.

Cholesterol: In diabetes, cholesterol goals are:

  • LDL less than 100 mg/dL
  • HDL greater than 40 mg/dL for men and 50 mg/dL for women
  • Triglycerides less than 150 mg/dL
  • If you are a smoker then you will need to quit smoking.
  • By taking precaution and controlling these risk factors, diabetic patients can avoid or delay the development of cardiovascular diseases.