Skip to content

Diabetes Health Center

Font Size

Heart Problems Fall in People With Diabetes

50% Fewer Heart Attacks, Strokes, and Heart Disease-Related Deaths Among People With Diabetes

WebMD Health News

Nov. 23, 2004 -- The number of heart attacks, strokes, and heart disease-related deaths reported among people with diabetes has fallen by nearly 50% in the last several decades, according to a new study.

Although people with diabetes have a much higher risk of heart disease, researchers say the study shows that people with diabetes have also benefited from the overall decline in heart disease in the U.S. since 1950.

Adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to suffer a heart attack, stroke, or heart disease-related death. Obesity, which is closely related to diabetes, further increases these risks.

Heart Problems Drop

In the study, which appears in the Nov. 24 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers compared the rates of heart disease in two sets of adults aged 45 to 64. The first group participated in the original Framingham Heart Study from 1950 to 1966, and the second group consisted of their offspring who participated from 1977 to 1995.

Of the two groups, 113 and 317 in the earlier and later time periods had diabetes, respectively.

The study showed the rate of heart problems, including heart attack, stroke, and heart disease-related death, dropped by nearly 50% from the first study period to the second.

Researchers say adults without diabetes experienced a 35% reduction in risk for heart problems during this time period.

They say the results show that while people with diabetes have benefited from the overall reduction in heart disease risk during the last several decades, there is still much room for improvement in lowering the elevated risk of heart problems among people with diabetes.

Is This Normal? Get the Facts Fast!

Check Your Blood Sugar Level Now
What type of diabetes do you have?
Your gender:

Get the latest Diabetes newsletter delivered to your inbox!


Your level is currently

If the level is below 70 or 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.

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.

Get Started

This tool is not intended for women who are pregnant.

Start Over

Step:  of 

Today on WebMD

Diabetic tools
Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
woman flexing muscles
10 strength training exercises.
Blood sugar test
12 practical tips.
Tom Hanks
Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
kenneth fujioka, md
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Middle aged person
Home Healthcare

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
type 2 diabetes
food fitness planner