November is Diabetes Awareness Month...

November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Do you know that people with diabetes are at an increased risk for Cardiovascular Disease?

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), diabetes affects nearly 24 million Americans (7.8 percent of the population). The AHA also considers diabetes to be one of the six major controllable risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

In the U.S., a new case of diabetes is diagnosed every 30 seconds; more than 1.6 million people are diagnosed each year.

Why are people with diabetes at increased risk for Cardiovascular Disease?

Heart disease and stroke are the #1 causes of death and disability among people with type 2 diabetes. In fact, at least 65 percent of people with diabetes die from some form of heart disease or stroke.

 Adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have heart disease or a stroke than adults without diabetes.

Diabetes is treatable, but even when glucose levels are under control it greatly increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. People with diabetes, particularly type 2 diabetes, often have conditions that contribute to their risk for developing cardiovascular disease.

While poor health habits aren’t good for anyone, they’re especially destructive for people with diabetes, making it harder to manage the condition and increasing your risk for dangerous complications such as peripheral artery disease, critical limb ischemia, and loss of limbs.

Common Risk Factors

High blood pressure (hypertension)

 -has long been recognized as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. When patients have both hypertension and diabetes, which is a common combination, their risk for cardiovascular disease doubles.

Obesity- Obesity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and has been strongly associated with insulin resistance. Weight loss can improve cardiovascular risk.

Lack of physical activity- Exercising and losing weight can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes and  reduce blood pressure and help reduce the risk for heart attack and stroke. Studies show that exercise lowers blood sugar and keeps it down for several hours afterward.

Smoking can increase your risk of developing serious diabetic complications: coronary heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease Smoking puts individuals, whether or not they have diabetes, at higher risk for heart disease and stroke.

Diabetes can be well-managed if you implement a healthier lifestyle. By controlling your risk factors, diabetes patients may avoid or delay the development of heart and blood vessel disease which can ultimately save your life..

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