Diabetes and Heart Disease
Preventing Heart Disease by Managing Your Diabetes
To make sure your diabetes treatment is working, experts recommend following the "ABCs":
- A1c: This is a blood test that provides a rough assessment of blood sugar control for the previous three months. An A1c level less than 7 is ideal for most people with diabetes.
- Blood pressure: Most people with diabetes should maintain a blood pressure below 130 over 80.
- Cholesterol: An LDL less than 100 and an HDL greater than 40 are the goals for most people with diabetes.
If you smoke and have diabetes, it's time to quit. Set a quit date and talk to your doctor. And don't be discouraged if you've tried to quit before but didn't succeed. New treatments can increase your chances of quitting for good.
Nearly everyone with diabetes can benefit from increasing physical activity. Going for a daily walk is one of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce your risk for heart disease. Exercise also helps keep blood sugar under better control.
Some people with diabetes should take a daily aspirin to protect against heart disease. Your doctor can tell you if daily aspirin is right for you.