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Diabetes Health Center

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Diabetes and Coronary Artery Disease

Diabetes is a condition that affects how insulin is produced and used in the body. Insulin is a hormone that controls blood sugar. When you have diabetes, your body does not produce enough insulin or can't use it properly. Over time, this condition can speed up the hardening and narrowing (atherosclerosis) of the coronary arteries. This results in coronary artery disease.

People who have diabetes are more likely to have coronary artery disease than people who do not have diabetes.

If you have diabetes and coronary artery disease, there are things you can do to help lower your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Manage your diabetes and have a healthy lifestyle. Be active. Take medicines to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and don't smoke.1


  1. Smith SC, et al. (2011). AHA/ACCF secondary prevention and risk reduction therapy for patients with coronary and other atherosclerotic vascular disease: 2011 update: A guideline from the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology Foundation. Circulation, 124(22): 2458-2473. Also available online:

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerRakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Specialist Medical ReviewerRobert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology

Current as ofJune 20, 2014

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 20, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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