diabetes heart disease

The Diabetes Heart Disease Link

by Kelley Herring on December 6, 2012

Did you know that diabetes and heart disease are linked?

In fact, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of premature death among people with diabetes – at least 65 percent of people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke.

Adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have heart disease or suffer a stroke than people without diabetes. Middle-aged people with type 2 diabetes have the same high risk for heart attack as people without diabetes who already have had a heart attack.

But here’s the good news:  Relatively small improvements in blood sugar, lipids, and blood pressure can greatly reduce the risk for diabetes complications.

The Diabetes Heart Disease Link

Take a look at how having diabetes increases the risk for heart disease:

  • Ninety-seven percent of adults with type 2 diabetes have one or more lipid abnormalities and about 70 percent of people with diabetes also have high blood pressure.
  • Sticky blood platelets contribute to clotting problems and poor blood flow in people with diabetes.
  • Smoking doubles the risk for CVD in people with diabetes.
  • Deaths from heart disease in women with diabetes have increased 23 percent over the past 30 years compared to a 27 percent decrease in women without diabetes.
  • Deaths from heart disease in men with diabetes have decreased by only 13 percent compared to a 36 percent decrease in men without diabetes.
  • Heart attacks occur at an earlier age in people with diabetes.
  • People with diabetes are more likely to die from a heart attack and are more likely than those without diabetes to have a second event.

Prevent and Reverse Diabetes and Heart Disease with a Healthy Lifestyle

While these are scary statistics, YOU don’t have to be a statistic. You can prevent, manage and even reverse your diabetes by:

  • Eating a low glycemic diet
  • Eating healthy monounsaturated fats and optimizing your omega 6 to omega 3 ratio
  • Keeping your blood sugar stable and monitoring it regularly
  • Avoiding endocrine-disruptors that promote diabetes
  • Exercising and reducing body fat (especially dangerous visceral belly fat)
  • Optimizing your vitamin D levels
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Not smoking
  • Drinking alcohol in moderation


About The Author

Kelley Herring, founder of Healing Gourmet, is a natural nutrition enthusiast with a background in biochemistry. Her passion is educating on how foods promote health and protect against disease and creating simple and delicious recipes for vibrant health and enjoyment.

Kelley Herring – who has written posts on Healing Gourmet.

Haffner SM, Lehto S, Ronnemaa T, Pyorala K, Laakso M. Mortality from coronary heart disease in subjects with type 2 diabetes and in nondiabetic subjects with and without prior myocardial infarction. N Engl J Med 1998; 339:229-34.Grundy SM, Benjamin IJ, Burke GL, et al. Diabetes and cardiovascular disease: a statement for healthcare professionals from the American Heart Association. Circulation 1999; 100:1134-46.

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