Heart Disease and Type 2 Diabetes: What You Need to Know

Both Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease plague millions of people across the globe. In fact, heart disease is the number one cause of death in people who live with diabetes. Fortunately, both of these illnesses can be prevented or managed by making specific lifestyle changes. Below, we are going to discuss the correlation between heart health and diabetes as well as what you can do to lower your risk of diabetes and improve your heart health.

By the Numbers

Currently, there are approximately 30 million Americans with diabetes and nearly 86 million with signs of prediabetes. Also, people with Type 2 diabetes have double the risk for developing heart disease and two out of every three deaths in people with diabetes are attributed to heart disease. Based on these three statistics, it’s imperative for everyone to get educated about the connection between heart health and diabetes.

How Heart Disease and Diabetes are Connected

People with Type 2 diabetes often have other conditions that increase their risk for developing cardiovascular disease. These conditions include high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol, obesity, and high blood sugar. There are also behavioral and lifestyle factors that increase your risk for both heart disease and diabetes such as smoking, lack of physical activity,  a diet high in fat and sodium, and drinking too much alcohol. To sum it all up, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes are connected because the conditions and lifestyle habits that put you at higher risk for one also put you at risk for the other.

Ways to Lower Your Risk

If you have diabetes, there are several things you can do to lower your risk for heart-related complications such as:

  • Following a healthy diet
  • Getting active
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Managing your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Managing stress

And, of course, if you smoke, please stop.

National Diabetes Heart Connection Day

November 8 is National Diabetes Heart Connection Day. This day aims to bring awareness to the ways that heart disease and diabetes are connected. Learn more here: https://diabetesheartconnection.org.

If you’re living with or at risk for diabetes and are concerned about your heart health, request an appointment to discuss your situation with one of our specialists.

American Heart Association
American Diabetes Association  
Diabetes Heart Connection
Center for Disease Control