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Diabetes Can Effect Cardiovascular Health

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of early death among people with diabetes. Adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely than people without diabetes to have heart disease or experience a stroke. At least 65% of people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke. About 70% of people with diabetes also have high blood pressure.

Cholesterol, Triglyceride, Weight, and Blood Pressure Problems Related to Diabetes
People with type 2 diabetes have high rates of cholesterol and triglyceride abnormalities, obesity, and high blood pressure, all of which are major contributors to higher rates of cardiovascular disease. Many people with diabetes have several of these conditions at the same time. This combination of problems is often called metabolic syndrome (formerly known as Syndrome X). The metabolic syndrome is often defined as the presence of any three of the following conditions: 1) excess weight around the waist; 2) high levels of triglycerides; 3) low levels of HDL, or "good," cholesterol; 4) high blood pressure; and 5) high fasting blood glucose levels. If you have one or more of these conditions, you are at an increased risk for having one or more of the others. The more conditions that you have, the greater the risk to your health.

Prevent Cardiovascular Problems Due To Diabetes
To protect your heart and blood vessels, eat right, get physical activity, don’t smoke, and maintain healthy blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. Choose a healthy diet, low in salt. Work with a dietitian to plan healthy meals. If you’re overweight, talk about how to safely lose weight. Ask about a physical activity or exercise program. Quit smoking if you currently do. Get a hemoglobin A1C test at least twice a year to determine what your average blood glucose level was for the past 2 to 3 months. Get your blood pressure checked at every doctor’s visit, and get your cholesterol checked at least once a year. Take medications if prescribed by your doctor.

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