Cardiovascular Diseases

People with diabetes have a higher risk of developing problems with the heart and blood vessels. Some of these problems are :

  • Heart attack (caused by a blockage of the blood vessels supplying blood to the heart)
  • Stroke (caused by a blockage of the blood vessels supplying blood to the brain)
  • Blockage of blood vessels in the legs and feet, which can lead to foot ulcers, infections, and even loss of a toe, foot, or lower leg

How well blood sugar is managed probably plays a role in cardiovascular problems, too. And if a person smokes, is obese, has abnormal levels of blood lipids (triglycerides or cholesterol), high blood pressure, or a family history of heart attack or stroke before age 50, he or she definitely has a higher risk of these problems.

One thing you can do to reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases is to maintain a healthy weight. If you're overweight, try to lose weight and stay there.

Following your diabetes meal plan, getting regular exercise, and taking diabetes medications as prescribed may also help prevent or delay the development of heart and blood vessel problems.

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