Diabetes and Heart Disease: What You Need to Know

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Did you know there is a significant link between diabetes and heart disease? In fact, people with diabetes are almost twice as likely to develop heart disease. Our expert explains the link and what you can do.

An individual with diabetes is at an elevated risk of heart disease, and tends to develop heart disease at a younger age. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 30.2 million U.S. adults — 12.2 percent — has diabetes, with nearly 24 percent not realizing they have it.

But by managing your diabetes and its related conditions, you can help lower your chances of developing heart disease or suffering a stroke. We asked Christopher Wilson, MD, PhD, with Renown Institute for Heart & Vascular Health, to answer some important questions.

Is there a link between diabetes and heart disease?

Absolutely, diabetic patients are far more likely to develop heart and vascular disease. We now have new medications to treat diabetes that have been shown to reduce this likelihood.

Why is it important to know your risk for diabetes? 

Diabetes can be preventable, but it requires an early intervention in diet and exercise prior to developing prediabetes. For those with diabetes and prediabetes, much can be done to improve long term health consequences.

 

Can diabetes be reversed?

Currently that is not known. Diabetes can be effectively managed with diet and exercise and remarkably reversed, but likely not resolved, with bariatric surgery for those who qualify.

Why are diabetics more prone to silent heart attacks? 

We do not understand this fully but there is a link between diabetes and silent heart disease. Therefore it is extremely important to be vigilant for signs of heart disease such as shortness of breath and get evaluated. As always, stay as active as possible.

What are your recommendations?

Stay active! Also, for diabetic patients, statin medication has continued to show clear evidence in preventing heart disease and heart events, so discuss with your doctor.  Diabetic patients also need to keep track of their eye and kidney health more closely, just as they do for the heart and the brain.

To learn more about diabetes, heart disease and your own personal risk factors, please schedule an appointment with your doctor or visit Renown Lab Services

 

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