Go to the page content

Diabetes and heart disease

You may not be aware that if you have type 2 diabetes, you are at a higher risk of developing heart disease, or cardiovascular disease, than people without diabetes. Due to this increased risk, people with diabetes are 2–6 times more likely to die from heart disease compared to people without type 2 diabetes.

And so, it is important to take care of your heart health and type 2 diabetes together.

"I didn't find out that heart disease and diabetes were hereditary till I was 50 years old."

-Lynn Berringer

Diabetes and Heart Diseases

If you are diabetic, you are at an increased risk to develop a heart disease. Heart disease refers to a range of conditions that affect your heart like blood vessel disease, heart rhythm disturbances, valve diseases etc. Diabetic patients are at increased risk to develop narrowed or blocked blood vessels (including arteries, veins, capillaries) which can cut off the blood supply to the heart or other organs causing heart attcks, stroke, gangrene etc. You can prevent them by closely monitoring your "ABC"s. A- for A1c- keep your sugars under control and HbA1c below 7%. B- Blood pressure- reduce your salt intake and if you have high blood pressure (Hypertension) take your medicines regularly. C-Cholestrol- Talk to your doctor when to get your cholesterol checked and follow the measure to reduce the same.

You can achieve your targets by making smart food choices, loose weight, exercise and keep active, quit smoking and dont skip your medicines.

What causes blood vessels to narrow or clog?

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Not eating a healthy diet
  • Not getting enough exercise

Lowering your risk

If your type 2 diabetes is well controlled, then your risk for developing heart disease is reduced. Type 2 diabetes is a lifelong disease. Taking care of both your diabetes and heart health in the long-term involves eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and monitoring your blood sugar levels.

You can read more about how you can prevent damage to your blood vessels and lower your heart disease risk here

Download this guide to help you converse with your doctor about the current state of your type 2 diabetes and assess your risk of developing heart disease.

  1. Buse JB, Ginsberg HN, Bakris GL et al. Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Diseases in People With Diabetes Mellitus. A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association. Circulation. 2007;115(1, 2):114-26.

Related articles