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Diabetes and Heart Disease

Diabetes and Heart Disease

  • Conditions associated with diabetes can impact the potential development of cardiovascular disease. Some of these include: obesity, physical inactivity and hypertension
  • Another is dyslipidemia which is a condition in which a person’s triglycerides and is higher than their HDL cholesterol levels
  • If worried, visit a doctor. Being proactive can help prevent heart attacks and the


If you have recently looked at a list of risk factors for heart disease, you may have noticed that diabetes was on that list. That’s because medical research has identified a connection between diabetes and heart disease. To understand this connection, you may first want to learn a little bit more about diabetes.

The Basics of Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body is no longer properly able to process glucose. Normally, insulin is released into the body by the pancreas. That insulin allows cells in the body to take in glucose so it is usable as energy. Unfortunately, if you have diabetes, those cells either no longer respond to insulin or your pancreas cannot produce enough insulin to eliminate all of the sugar (glucose) from your bloodstream.

If you are concerned about diabetes and heart disease, you should learn some of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes so you’ll know what to watch for and what to report to your physician. For example, if you experience an increase in thirst, urination, infections, blurred vision, or fatigue, you may want to have your blood sugar levels checked.

Identifying the Diabetes and Heart Disease Connection

Although diabetes itself may not directly increase the risk of heart disease, many of the conditions associated with diabetes can have an impact on the potential development of heart disease. The American Heart Association (AHA) illustrates how some of these factors are related. For example, obesity is one of the major risk factors associated with diabetes. You do not have to be overweight to develop diabetes, but it is commonly found in people who are obese. Being overweight is also associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Another example of a risk factor shared by both diabetes and heart disease is physical inactivity. When people do not exercise, not only can they gain weight, but they may also have an increased risk of developing diabetes or having a heart attack.

Hypertension is also related to increased risks for cardiovascular disease. People who have diabetes are also more likely to have high blood pressure as well. Unfortunately, the combination of these two factors doubles the risk of coronary heart disease.


Finally, some people who have diabetes also suffer from dyslipidemia, which is a condition in which a person’s triglycerides and LDL (bad cholesterol) levels are higher while their HDL (good cholesterol) levels are quite low. This trio of factors can also increase the risk of atherosclerosis, which can increase your risks of having a heart attack or stroke.

Another Issue

When it comes to diabetes and heart disease, the relationship goes beyond risk factors. If you suffer from both, they can affect your treatment choices. According to WebMD.com, for example, if you have to complete a stress test to determine the health of your heart, you may also need to consider extra preparations. Furthermore, if your healing ability is reduced because of diabetes, that can also complicate many of the more invasive treatments that may be needed to prevent heart attacks.

The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.

One Response to “Diabetes and Heart Disease”

  1. 1
    Matt Says:
    What can be worse than getting diabetes? Getting heart disease after getting diabetes! This is scary stuff. I do experience abnormal fatigue and frequent urination, would this be a cause for concern of diabetes?