Living with diabetes is difficult enough. But adults with diabetes face a 2-4 times greater chance of cardiovascular disease than of a person without diabetes. Patients with diabetes undergo a higher rate of Coronary Artery Bypass surgeries than non-diabetics. Nearly 70% of adults with diabetes age 65 and older die of some form of cardiovascular disease.
“Diabetes and its effect on the body place a person at high risk of stroke, heart attack, coronary artery disease, peripheral arterial disease and congestive heart failure,” says McLeod Cardiologist, Dr. Dennis Lang. “We also know that with the appropriate treatment and lifestyle changes those risks can be controlled and reduced.”
Among the first steps: determine if you need cardiac testing. The American College of Cardiology has these indications for diabetic patients:
If your testing shows you are at increased risk, your cardiologist may begin you with these types of medications – among other drugs:
Your cardiologist will probably also recommend that you increase your physical activity, lose weight and quit smoking.
HOW DOES TREATMENT HELP
Losing weight and following a healthier diet (less fried foods, more fruit and vegetables) will improve your diabetes status. Diabetes is a chronic – meaning a long-lasting, ongoing – disease. So, although you may never be rid of it, you can improve your risk of heart and vascular disease in the following ways:
ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE
Work with your personal physician on controlling your diabetes. See a cardiologist for further testing if you have any of the five indications in the “First Steps” section in this article.
Find a Cardiologist near you.
Sources include: McLeod Health, Journal of the American Medical Association, Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, British Columbia Medical Journal, World Heart Federation, American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, American College of Cardiology