Link between Diabetes and Cardiovascular disease
1. Cardiovascular disease is a major complication of diabetes and the leading cause of early death among people with diabetes—about 65 percent of people with diabetes die from heart disease and stroke.
The following statistics speak loud and clear that there is a strong correlation between cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes.
At least 68 percent of people age 65 or older with diabetes die from some form of heart disease; and 16% die of stroke.
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.
2. Adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have heart disease or suffer a stroke than people without diabetes.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of mortality for people with diabetes.
If you have diabetes your risk of cardiovascular disease rises for a number of reasons. Hypertension, abnormal blood lipids and obesity, all risk factors in their own right for cardiovascular disease, occur more frequently in people with diabetes.
Uncontrolled diabetes causes damage to your body’s blood vessels making them more prone to damage from atherosclerosis and hypertension. People with diabetes develop atherosclerosis at a younger age and more severely than people without diabetes.
Hypertension is more than twice as common in people with diabetes as in people with normal blood glucose levels.
People with diabetes are more likely to have a heart attack or stroke, than people who do not, and their prognosis is worse.
If you have diabetes you can have a heart attack without realizing it. Diabetes can damage nerves as well as blood vessels so a heart attack can be ‘silent’, that is lacking the typical chest pain.
3.High blood glucose in adults with diabetes increases the risk for heart attack, stroke, angina, and coronary artery disease.
The connection between diabetes and heart disease starts with high blood sugar levels. With time, the high glucose in the bloodstream damages the arteries, causing them to become stiff and hard.
Fatty material that builds up on the inside of these blood vessels can eventually block blood flow to the heart or brain, leading to heart attack or stroke. Your risk of heart disease with diabetes is further elevated if you also have a family history of cardiovascular disease or stroke.
Other heart facts to consider:
(a)A person with diabetes who has had one heart attack has a much greater risk of having another.
(b)A middle-aged person who has diabetes has the same chance of having a heart attack as someone who is not diabetic, but already had a heart attack.
(c)People with diabetes develop cardiovascular disease at a much earlier age than others.
4. People with type 2 diabetes also have high rates of high blood pressure, lipid problems, and obesity, which contribute to their high rates of Cardiovascular disease.
Diabetes is treatable, but even when glucose levels are under control it greatly increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. That’s because people with diabetes, particularly type 2 diabetes, may have the following conditions that contribute to their risk for developing cardiovascular disease.
High blood pressure has long been recognized as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Studies report a positive association between hypertension and insulin resistance. When patients have both hypertension and diabetes, which is a common combination, their risk for cardiovascular disease doubles.
Patients with diabetes often have unhealthy cholesterol levels including high LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, low HDL (“good”) cholesterol, and high triglycerides. This triad of poor lipid counts often occurs in patients with premature coronary heart disease. It is also characteristic of a lipid disorder associated with insulin resistance called atherogenic dyslipidemia, or diabetic dyslipidemia in those patients with diabetes.
Obesity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and has been strongly associated with insulin resistance. Weight loss can improve cardiovascular risk, decrease insulin concentration and increase insulin sensitivity. Obesity and insulin resistance also have been associated with other risk factors, including high blood pressure.
Physical inactivity is another major risk factor for insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease.
Exercising and losing weight can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes, reduce blood pressure and help reduce the risk for heart attack and stroke.
It’s likely that any type of moderate and/or vigorous intensity, aerobic physical activity—whether sports, household work, gardening or work-related physical activity—is similarly beneficial.
Poorly Controlled Blood Sugars (too high) or Out of Normal Range
Diabetes can cause blood sugar to rise to dangerous levels.
Lowering blood sugar levels could reduce the risk of coronary heart disease in both diabetics and non-diabetics, according to researchers. The researchers found that Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c)—a measure of long-term blood glucose level—predicts heart disease risk in both diabetics and non-diabetics.
In participants with diabetes, the researchers found a graded association between HbA1c and increasing coronary heart disease risk. Each 1-percentage-point increase in HbA1c level was associated with a 14 percent increase in heart disease risk.
According to the study, the current target for “good” glycemic control is an HbA1c value less than 7 percent. However, the researchers’ analyses suggest that heart disease risk begins to increase at values even below 7 percent.
They found that those study participants without diabetes but who had “high normal” HbA1c levels (approximately 5 percent to 6 percent) were at an increased heart disease risk, even after accounting for other factors such as age, cholesterol level, blood pressure, body mass index and smoking.
Non-diabetic persons with HbA1c levels of 6 percent or higher had almost a two-fold greater heart disease risk compared to persons with an HbA1c level below 4.6 percent.
5.Smoking doubles the risk Cardiovascular disease in people with Diabetes.
Smoking harms nearly every organ in the body, including the heart, blood vessels, lungs, eyes, mouth, reproductive organs, bones, bladder, and digestive organs.
The chemicals in tobacco smoke harm your blood cells. They also can damage the function of your heart and the structure and function of your blood vessels. This damage increases your risk of atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis is a disease in which a waxy substance called plaque builds up in the arteries. Over time, plaque hardens and narrows your arteries. This limits the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your organs and other parts of your body.
Coronary heart disease (CHD) occurs if plaque builds up in the coronary (heart) arteries. Over time, CHD can lead to chest pain, heart attack, heart failure, or even death.
Smoking is a major risk factor for heart disease. When combined with other risk factors—such as unhealthy blood cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and overweight or obesity—smoking further raises the risk of heart disease.
Smoking also is a major risk factor for peripheral artery disease (P.A.D.). P.A.D. is a condition in which plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood to the head, organs, and limbs. People who have P.A.D. are at increased risk for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
Any amount of smoking, even light smoking or occasional smoking, damages the heart and blood vessels.
For some people, such as women who use birth control pills and people who have diabetes, smoking poses an even greater risk to the heart and blood vessels.
Secondhand smoke also can harm the heart and blood vessels. Secondhand smoke is the smoke that comes from the burning end of a cigarette, cigar, or pipe. Secondhand smoke also refers to smoke that’s breathed out by a person who is smoking.
Secondhand smoke contains many of the same harmful chemicals that people inhale when they smoke. Secondhand smoke can damage the hearts and blood vessels of people who don’t smoke in the same way that active smoking harms people who do smoke. Secondhand smoke greatly increases adults’ risk of heart attack and death.
Secondhand smoke also raises children and teens’ risk of future CHD because it:
Lowers HDL cholesterol (sometimes called “good” cholesterol)
Raises blood pressure
Damages heart tissues
The risks of secondhand smoke are especially high for premature babies who have respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) and children who have conditions such as asthma.
Researchers know less about how cigar and pipe smoke affects the heart and blood vessels than they do about cigarette smoke.
However, the smoke from cigars and pipes contains the same harmful chemicals as the smoke from cigarettes. Also, studies have shown that people who smoke cigars are at increased risk for heart disease.
Smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke damages the heart and blood vessels in many ways. Smoking also is a major risk factor for developing heart disease or dying from it.
Quitting smoking is possible, but it can be hard. Millions of people have quit smoking successfully and remained nonsmokers. A variety of strategies, programs, and medicines are available to help you quit smoking.
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Causes,Symptoms And Treatment Of Heart Disease In Diabetics
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 buildup 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.
Preventing Heart Disease
The good news is that there are steps to take to reduce your risk for heart disease if you have diabetes.
The best way to prevent heart disease is to take good care of yourself and your diabetes.
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