• Heart and Vascular Disease

    Diabetes and Symptoms of Heart Attack, Stroke, and Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

    Diabetes increases the risk of having a heart attack or stroke, as well as the risk of blockages in arteries leading to the legs or kidneys. Additionally, diabetes can change the symptoms of a heart attack, making the heart attack harder to diagnose.

    Treatment and Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease If You Have Diabetes

    Many people with diabetes develop at least mild cardiovascular disease. Therefore, treatment consists of a strong program for preventing further damage to the heart and blood vessels, coupled with specific therapies for problems that already exist. Whether plaque build-up affects the arteries of the heart, legs, brain or other organs, effective prevention and treatment are likely to involve lifestyle changes, such as diet, exercise, stress management and quitting smoking; medications to control blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels; and possibly daily aspirin to ward off unwanted blood clots.

    Cardiovascular Complications of Diabetes

    The relationship between diabetes and cardiovascular disease is clear, but the causes are complex. Over time, too much glucose in the blood damages nerves and blood vessels. This, in turn, can cause heart disease and stroke. In addition, damage to the blood vessels in the legs can result in poor circulation and increase the risk of foot ulcers and amputations, while damage to the blood vessels that supply blood to the kidneys can cause kidney failure and damage to the small blood vessels in the eye can eventually cause blindness.

    Diabetes & Your Heart: Info for Cardiovascular Health

    Learn more about the relationship between diabetes and heart disease, including how you can improve your heart health, identify important symptoms, and evaluate treatment options.