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