Learn the facts about the relationship between diabetes and heart disease, plus tips on how to minimize your risk
If you have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, you have probably noticed that a lot of the information for managing your disease includes “heart-healthy” suggestions. The reason for that is there is a strong relationship between diabetes and heart disease. Having diabetes increases the chances that you will develop cardiovascular disease, and you have a greater chance of having a heart attack or a stroke. People with diabetes are also more likely to have certain risk factors that increase the likelihood of having heart disease.
Diabetes and heart disease statistics
Leading health organizations examined the relationship between diabetes and heart disease to discover how the two were linked. The following diabetes and heart disease statistics make it clear just how closely the two conditions are related.
- The American Heart Association reports that people with Type 2 diabetes are two to four more times more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than adults who do not have the disease
- At least 68 percent of people age 65 or older with diabetes die from some form of heart disease and 16% die of stroke
- Diabetes is considered one of the seven major controllable risk factors for heart disease.
- According to the American Diabetes Association, two out of three people with diabetes will die from heart disease or stroke
- The most common causes of death in adults with diabetes are heart disease and stroke
The link between Type 2 diabetes and heart disease
Type 2 diabetes and heart disease are closely linked. The high blood glucose levels that occur with diabetes can damage the blood vessels and nerves that control your blood vessels and heart, causing them to harden and become stiff. Fatty deposits can accumulate in the hardened blood vessels and clog them, making it more likely that you will develop heart disease. People who have Type 2 diabetes are also more likely to have certain risk factors that increase their chances of having cardiovascular disease or stroke. These risk factors include high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels, and obesity.
How to reduce the health risks of diabetes and heart disease
Fortunately, some of the same steps that are helpful for managing diabetes will also reduce your risk of developing heart disease. These helpful tips will keep your blood glucose, weight, and cholesterol at healthy levels, all key factors that will decrease the health risks from Type 2 diabetes and heart disease at the same time.
- Maintain healthy blood sugar levels – Careful blood glucose monitoring can help you keep your blood sugar levels as at a safe, low level.
- Stay active – Adding 30 minutes of exercise to your routine can help your body process glucose better and will boost your efforts to shed unwanted weight.
- Eat heart-healthy, diabetes-friendly foods – Making a few simple dietary changes can reap big health rewards for people with diabetes. Switch to whole grain oatmeal and other fiber-rich foods to keep your blood glucose levels steady, include salmon and other foods high in Omega-3s to prevent arteries from clogging, and substitute healthy fats such as the ones found in olive oil and nuts to eliminate some of the “bad” fats and lower your cholesterol. Watch portion sizes, and use herbs for seasoning instead of salt to keep your blood pressure low.
The relationship between diabetes and heart disease makes managing your diabetes more important than ever. You can find tons of easy diabetes-friendly recipes, good exercises for diabetes, and tips that make managing diabetes easier at www.BetterHealthKare.com