Type 2 Diabetics Ignore Heart Health, Study Says
Putting measures in place to prevent heart disease is vital for those with type 2 diabetes. However, health officials say that most diabetics in the U.S don't meet recommended guidelines. In a recent report, researchers stated that reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease is crucial when providing care for diabetic patients, whether they have heart disease risk factors or not.
Drugs to lower blood pressure and cholesterol along with lifestyle changes need to be considered for those with type 2 diabetes. The guidelines to prevent heart disease were examined by researchers and they found that the most common cause of death in diabetic patients is heart disease. It has been predicted that one-third of Americans could have this condition by 2050. This means that many will have to struggle with heart disease. It was suggested that if the guidelines were followed, though, the risk could be reduced.
Heart diseases associated with diabetes include:
- Heart failure: People with heart failure limit their activities because they get tired easily. Heart failure can be caused by coronary heart disease since, over time, the heart muscles become weak.
- Coronary heart disease: Plaque build-up causes the coronary arteries to become blocked. This condition wherein plaques build up inside the arteries is known as atherosclerosis. The blood flow becomes partially or completely blocked, which can cause irregular heartbeats, discomfort, and chest pain. It may even cause death.
How Diabetes Affects the Heart
There is an increased risk of diabetic heart disease in those with high blood sugar levels. The main risk factor is high cholesterol. When diabetes is combined with these and other risk factors, the chance of heart disease increases. Obesity, metabolic syndrome, and being overweight can cause a negative interaction and harmful changes to the heart. The risk of severe heart problems thus increases. Also, such people with diabetic heart disease experience less success with heart disease treatments due to their diabetic condition.
Managing Heart Disease
One can lower their risk of diabetic heart disease by taking their prescribed medications and making changes in their lifestyle. The outlook can thus be improved. Several risk factors can be managed. Seek ongoing care from your doctor and follow the treatment plan. To avoid serious problems, someone with diabetic heart disease should closely follow their treatment plan.
- High blood pressure: In people with diabetes or kidney problems, blood pressure above 130 mm Hg or more is dangerous.
- Unhealthy cholesterol levels: High LDL and low HDL
- Smoking: This can raise blood pressure and cause unhealthy cholesterol.
- Obesity or being overweight: This increases the risk for heart disease and heart attack.
- Prediabetes: Sugar level is higher, but not as in diabetes. If it is not managed, however, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in less than ten years increases.
- Lack of exercise: Worsening of other risk factors may increase the chances of heart disease.
- Unhealthy diet: The risk factors may worsen due to sugar, sodium, fat, and high cholesterol.
- Stress: The arteries can tighten due to stress and anxiety, thus increasing the risk of heart attack. The chances of developing heart disease increase as well.
The following risk factors cannot be controlled:
- Age: After 45 years of age for men and 55 years for women, the risk for heart attack and heart disease goes up. After 40 years, the risk for diabetes increases as well.
- Family history of heart disease: If someone in the family was diagnosed with this disease before reaching the age of 55 in men or 65 in women, the risk becomes higher.
- Gender: Compared to men, the risk of heart disease is greater in women.
- Preeclampsia: This condition may occur during pregnancy. A relationship has been observed between preeclampsia and a higher risk of heart failure.