What is the link ? – Times News Online
Posted on April 12, 2022 at 11:48 a.m.
Many bodily systems are connected, and certain diseases or conditions can be factors in other diseases and conditions. Diabetes and heart disease are two examples.
Can a disease affecting blood sugar affect your blood vessels and your heart? Absolutely, and in more ways than one.
Numbers help tell the story
About 34 million people in the United States have diabetes, and 20% of them don’t know it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
About 88 million adults are on the verge of developing diabetes (called prediabetes) and more than 80% of them don’t know it.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. The American Heart Association predicts that more than 130 million Americans will suffer from some type of heart disease by 2030, just eight years from now.
That’s a lot of potential health issues.
Know your risk
Diabetes can significantly increase your risk of heart disease, and high blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes are closely linked.
Diabetes promotes the development of plaque in your arteries. It’s the substance that clings to the walls of your arteries and restricts or blocks blood flow, increasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
In fact, people with diabetes are twice as likely to have a heart attack or stroke as those without diabetes.
Diabetes can also lead to damage to blood vessels in the eyes, kidneys, and nerves, and conditions such as heart failure can lead to diabetes.
There is also good news
The news is not all bad. Many tools are at your disposal to reduce your risks. Things like regular exercise, weight loss, and healthy eating can help reduce both your risk of diabetes and heart disease.
“The first step to lowering that risk is knowing your numbers,” says cardiologist Jeffrey Snyder, MD, of Lehigh Valley Physician Group (LVPG) Cardiology–Lehighton and Lehigh Valley Hospital (LVH) Cardiology–1250 Cedar Crest.
“Know your blood pressure, be aware of your fasting blood sugar, and ask your primary care provider or cardiologist to initiate baseline diagnostic studies as a starting point.”
There are also drugs to control both coronary heart disease and heart failure, and the risk of coronary heart disease among American adults has improved dramatically over the past decade.
“There is such a close link between diabetes and cardiovascular disease that new diabetes drugs on the market had to show cardiovascular benefits to be produced,” says cardiologist Daniel Makowski, DO, of LVH Cardiology–1250 Cedar Crest. “It highlights the multi-level understanding and commitment to the relationship between diabetes and the cardiovascular system.”
If you are concerned about your risk of diabetes or heart disease, you should talk to your primary care provider.
They will be able to recommend specific steps you can take to reduce your risk for both or refer you to a specialist for further care.
For more information about services offered by Lehigh Valley Health Network for diabetes and heart disease care, visit LVHN.org.
High blood sugar can cause heart problems, doctors say. METROGRAPHY