Heart disease is common in people with diabetes. Data from the National Diabetes Fact Sheet show that in 2004 heart disease was noted on 68% of diabetes-related death certificates in people 65 and older. Stroke was noted on 16% of the diabetes-related death certificates in people 65 and older. In general, the risks of heart disease death and stroke is 2-4 times higher in people with diabetes.
While all people with diabetes have an increased chance of developing heart disease, the condition is more common in those with type 2 diabetes.
Living with a chronic illness like type 2 diabetes can seem overwhelming at times. Sometimes you might feel that no one understands the stress that you feel day after day. If prolonged, these overwhelming feelings of anxiety, stress, and isolation can become a barricade in your quest for wellness.
It does not have to be this way. You must seek support to maintain control of your type 2 diabetes and to enjoy your life to the fullest. Whether your main support comes from your spouse, a close friend,...
The Framingham Study was one of the first pieces of evidence to show that people with diabetes are more vulnerable to heart disease than those people who did not have diabetes. The Framingham Study looked at generations of people, including those with diabetes, to try to determine the health risk factors for developing heart disease. It showed that multiple health factors -- including diabetes -- could increase the possibility of developing heart disease. Aside from diabetes, other health problems associated with heart disease include high blood pressure, smoking, high cholesterol levels, and a family history of early heart disease.
The more health risks factors a person has for heart disease, the higher the chances that they will develop heart disease and even die from it. Just like anyone else, people with diabetes have an increased risk of dying from heart disease if they have more health risk factors. However, the probability of dying from heart disease is dramatically higher in a person with diabetes. So, while a person with one health risk factor, such as high blood pressure, may have a certain chance of dying from heart disease, a person with diabetes has double or even quadruple the risk of dying.
For example, one medical study found that people with diabetes who had no other health risk factors for heart disease were 5 times more likely to die of heart disease than those without. Another medical study showed that people with diabetes, no matter the number of other heart disease risk factors, were as likely to have a heart attack as someone without diabetes who has already had a heart attack.
Heart disease experts recommend that all people with diabetes have their heart disease risk factors treated as aggressively as people who have already had heart attacks.
What Causes Heart Disease in People With Diabetes?
The most common cause of heart disease in a person with diabetes is hardening of the coronary arteries or atherosclerosis, which is a buildup of cholesterol in the blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrition to the heart.
This build up of cholesterol usually begins before the increase in blood sugars that occurs in type 2 diabetes. In other words, heart disease almost always has established itself prior to the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.
Get the latest Diabetes newsletter delivered to your inbox!
Your level is currently
If the level is below 70 and you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.
People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.
Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.
However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.
Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.
One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.
Thank you for signing up for the WebMD Diabetes Newsletter!
You'll find tips and tricks as well as the latest news and research on Diabetes.
Did You Know Your Lifestyle Choices
Affect Your Blood Sugar?
Use the Blood Glucose Tracker to monitor
how well you manage your blood sugar over time.