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How Can Diabetes Damage The Heart

How can diabetes damage the heart?
How can I reduce my risk for heart disease?
Heart and blood vessel damage will affect each one of us as we get older, but these damages occur more frequently and much earlier in people with diabetes. A report from 2007 estimates that the risk of cardiovascular disease in people with diabetes is 5 times higher in middle aged men and 8 times higher in women who suffer from diabetes. Like diabetes itself, the symptoms of cardiovascular disease may go undetected for years, resulting in more than half of the patients with type 2 diabetes exhibiting signs of cardiovascular complications at time when diagnosis of diabetes is first made.

How does the damage Happen?

The possible reasons are:

* Blood-fat levels tend to be high when blood sugar levels are high. High levels of certain fats, specially total cholesterol, LDL (bad cholesterol), and triglycerides increase the risk of blood vessel damage and heart attack.

* Hyperglycemia, which characterises diabetes, in combination with free fatty acids in the blood can damage the internal linning of blood vessels. The lining of the blood vessels becomes thicker and diseased, and this in turn impairs blood flow, eventually leading to cardiovascular disease.

* High blood pressure, which is more common in people with diabetes than in the normal population, also increases the chance for developing both heart disease and stroke.

Consequences of arterial wall damage:

* A diabetic person is twice as likely to have a heart attack or stroke.

* Women with diabetes have an increased risk of heart disease at a younger age.

* Diabetics who have already had one heart attack run an even greater risk of having a second one.

* In addition, heart attacks in people with diabetes are more serious and more likely to result in death.

* People with diabetes have at least twice the risk of congestive heart failure as people without diabetes.

* Diabetic heart damage can lead to irregular heart beats


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