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Are Diabetes And Heart Disease Related

The 411 On Heart Disease + Diabetes

The 411 On Heart Disease + Diabetes

Last month, we launched a new series on diabetes complications. The idea is definitely not to use scare tactics to convince you to take better care of yourself, but rather to embrace the notion that "knowledge is power" and that if you are diagnosed with a complication, life goes on... (Hey, we're facing our own worst fears here, too) It just so happens that February is National Heart Month (go figure), so this month we're focusing on that nasty thing that can happen to your heart with diabetes: cardiovascular disease. Our expert help is Dr. Robert Eckel, an endocrinologist and past president of the American Health Association. Not only is he a professional expert, he's also had type 1 diabetes for the past 50 years! PWDs are two to four times more likely to suffer with cardiovascular disease, so listen up! Like retinopathy, there are several types of cardiovascular disease, with their own symptoms and treatments: 1. Coronary artery disease: This is the first type of heart disease and is caused by narrowing or blocking of the blood vessels that travel to your heart via fatty deposits. If the blood vessels to your heart become partially or totally blocked, then the blood supply is reduced or cut off. When that happens, a heart attack can occur. Coronary artery disease can cause a heart attack. During a heart attack, symptoms include: chest pain or discomfort pain or discomfort in your arms, back, jaw, neck, or stomach shortness of breath sweating nausea light-headedness Dr. Eckel points out that due to nerve damage from diabetes, a heart attack could be painless, and you might not even know if you've had one. Scary! If you have had a heart attack, your doctor may put you on a blood thinner, like aspirin, which can help reduce the chances of a second heart attack. 2. Hear Continue reading >>

Diabetes Mellitus: A Major Risk Factor For Cardiovascular Disease

Diabetes Mellitus: A Major Risk Factor For Cardiovascular Disease

Abundant evidence shows that patients with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes are at high risk for several cardiovascular disorders: coronary heart disease, stroke, peripheral arterial disease, cardiomyopathy, and congestive heart failure. Cardiovascular complications are now the leading causes of diabetes-related morbidity and mortality. The public health impact of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in patients with diabetes is already enormous and is increasing. Several explanations are behind this increase. First, the incidence of diabetes rises with advancing age, and the number of older people in the United States is growing rapidly. Second, insulin treatment for persons with type 1 diabetes has prolonged their lives significantly, and with each year of additional life comes an increased risk for CVD complications. Third, type 2 diabetes occurs at an earlier age in obese and overweight persons, and the prevalence of obesity is rising in the United States. The risk for diabetes in overweight persons is heightened by physical inactivity; unfortunately, the majority of Americans engage in little regular or sustained physical activity. Fourth, the populations that are particularly susceptible to diabetes—African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Asians—are growing in this country. Fifth, improved medical care, particularly when extended to susceptible populations, will bring an increasing number of patients with type 2 diabetes into the medical care system. All of these factors will lead to an absolute increase in the number of patients who will require medical intervention to prevent the complications of diabetes. Diabetes has long been recognized to be an independent risk factor for CVD. Prospective studies, such as the Framingham, Honolulu Continue reading >>

Diabetic Heart Disease

Diabetic Heart Disease

If you have diabetes or pre-diabetes you have an increased risk for heart disease. Diabetic heart disease can be coronary heart disease (CHD), heart failure, and diabetic cardiomyopathy. Diabetes by itself puts you at risk for heart disease. Other risk factors include Family history of heart disease Carrying extra weight around the waist Abnormal cholesterol levels High blood pressure Smoking Some people who have diabetic heart disease have no signs or symptoms of heart disease. Others have some or all of the symptoms of heart disease. Treatments include medications to treat heart damage or to lower your blood glucose (blood sugar), blood pressure, and cholesterol. If you are not already taking a low dose of aspirin every day, your doctor may suggest it. You also may need surgery or some other medical procedure. Lifestyle changes also help. These include a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active, and quitting smoking. NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Continue reading >>

What Is The Saddest Thing About You, And Why?

What Is The Saddest Thing About You, And Why?

When I was 16, my stepfather murdered my mother then killed himself in a murder suicide. I woke one day to go to high school. My step father was already awake downstairs going through some papers. I didn’t talk to him that morning, and left for school as if it were any other day. An hour later I was pulled out of my classroom to be taken to the police station where I was told my stepfather killed my mother, one other person (his friend), and himself in a horrific murder suicide. Surprisingly there’s still a link to the newspaper article about the incident: After that my real biological father left me to fend for myself and moved to Las Vegas to found Chinatown there. He is now known as the father of Chinatown there. I managed to still go to UCLA on a full scholarship but I unfortunately was forced to live in the house alone where my parents died due to not having money during summer vacation and breaks. This caused a lot of trauma. I graduated but found I was not happy not surprisingly. Then a decade later and after a lot of confusion I somehow found myself in China playing rock n’ roll as this person I named the Wolf. (me: left) Then everything fell apart and I nearly lost my mind coming back to to America. I went to the desert to meditate. Things got strange. I became Quora Top Writer. I realized my life is quite an epic tale that needs telling to change the narrative of the idealized model minority. Now I’m writing a soon to be completed memoir called Alone Wolf about the story of a strange and sad life I have yet to hear rivaled. Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Heart Disease

Diabetes And Heart Disease

Heart and vascular disease often go hand in hand with diabetes. People with diabetes are at a much greater risk for heart attacks, strokes, and high blood pressure. Another vascular problem due to diabetes includes poor circulation to the legs and feet. Unfortunately, many of these cardiovascular problems can start early in life and may go undetected for years. Serious cardiovascular disease can begin before the age of 30 in people with diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), damage to the coronary arteries is two to four times more likely in asymptomatic people with type 1 diabetes than in the general population. Because symptoms may be absent at first, the ADA recommends early diagnosis, treatment,, and management of cardiac risk factors. People with diabetes often have changes in their blood vessels that can lead to cardiovascular disease. In people with diabetes, the linings of the blood vessels may become thicker, making it more difficult for blood to flow through the vessels. When blood flow is impaired, heart problems or stroke can occur. Blood vessels can also suffer damage elsewhere in the body due to diabetes, leading to eye problems, kidney problems, and poor circulation to the legs and feet (peripheral arterial disease or PAD). Metabolic syndrome is characterized by a group of metabolic risk factors in one person. People with metabolic syndrome are at increased risk of coronary heart disease, other diseases related to plaque buildup in artery walls (for example, stroke and peripheral arterial disease), and type 2 diabetes, according to the American Heart Association. Risk factors for metabolic syndrome include: Excessive fat tissue in and around the abdomen or a high waist circumference Blood fat disorders that foster plaque buildup i Continue reading >>

Diabetes Increases Heart Attack Risk By 48%

Diabetes Increases Heart Attack Risk By 48%

"People with diabetes 48% more likely to suffer heart attack, researchers find," says The Guardian. Meanwhile, the Daily Mail reports that people with diabetes are "65% more likely to have heart failure than the rest of the population". Both stories are based on the most recent report of the National Diabetes Audit, which presents data from England and Wales on the complications that arise due to diabetes. Diabetes makes it difficult for the body to control blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels and lead to range of complications, such as: angina – chest pain that results from a temporary restriction of blood supply to the heart retinopathy – where the retina (the light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the eye) is damaged foot ulcers, which in the most serious cases, require a section of the foot or lower leg to be amputated People with type 1 diabetes can also experience a dangerous complication called diabetic ketoacidosis where the body breaks down fat as an alternative source of fuel. Left untreated, diabetic ketoacidosis can be fatal. The National Diabetes Audit report highlights these complications, as well as deaths in people with diabetes. The audit confirms and quantifies these risks, and provides recommendations on how the NHS can benefit from addressing the complications of diabetes, and how this can improve the lives of people with diabetes. Who produced the report? The National Diabetes Audit is produced by the NHS Information Centre each year. It looks at diabetes care and outcomes throughout England and Wales. The portion of the report covered in the media specifically focuses on complications and deaths related to diabetes. The current report covers the eighth year of the audit, and is based on data from 2010-11. Continue reading >>

Biological Link Between Diabetes And Heart Disease Found

Biological Link Between Diabetes And Heart Disease Found

Researchers from the UC Davis Health System have discovered a biological link between diabetes and heart disease, which may explain why diabetes sufferers have an increased risk for heart disease. This is according to a study published in the journal Nature. The researchers found that when blood sugars are abnormally high (hyperglycemia), this activates a biological pathway that causes irregular heartbeats - a condition called cardiac arrhythmia - that is linked to heart failure and sudden cardiac death. According to the World Heart Federation, people who suffer from diabetes are two to four times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease, compared with people who do not have diabetes. The American Heart Association says that around 65% of diabetes sufferers die from heart disease or stroke, emphasizing the need for new research looking at links between the conditions. For this study, UC Davis researchers, alongside collaborators at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, conducted a series of experiments to determine any biological reasons as to why diabetes sufferers are at higher risk of cardiovascular disease. O-GlcNAc-modified CaMKII a trigger of arrhythmias The experiments involved detailed molecular analysis in rat and human proteins and tissues, calcium imaging in isolated rat cardiac myocytes (cells found in muscle tissues) that were exposed to high glucose, as well looking at whole heart arrhythmias with optical mapping within isolated hearts and live diabetic rates. Their findings showed that moderate to high blood glucose levels, similar to those found in diabetics, triggered a sugar molecule called O-GlcNAc (O-linked N-acetylglucosamine) in heart muscle cells to bind to a specific site on a protein called CaMKII (calcium/calmodulin-dependent pr Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Heart Disease Risk Are Linked By The Same Genes, Scientists Say

Diabetes And Heart Disease Risk Are Linked By The Same Genes, Scientists Say

Global health officials are grappling with epidemics of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease and now a major study is warning that a genetic connection may be at play linking the two chronic diseases. Scientists out of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine say that they’ve uncovered 16 new genetic risk factors for diabetes along with one new genetic risk factor for heart disease, shedding light on the onset of the two ailments. The medical community is already saying that diabetes is a risk factor for heart disease but they’ve never really understood the biological pathways tying the two together. READ MORE: What Alzheimer’s disease, heart health and diabetes have in common Now, they’re suggesting that genes known to be tied to a higher diabetes risk are also linked to a higher risk of heart disease. In eight of the 16 genes they zeroed in on, they found a specific gene variant that tampers with risk for both conditions. What could these findings mean? The scientists say it could pave the way to treating both of the chronic diseases at the same time. “Identifying gene variants linked to both Type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease risk, in principle, opens up opportunities to lower the risk of both outcomes with a single drug,” study co-author, Dr. Danish Saleheen, said in a university statement. “Using evidence from human genetics, it should be possible to design drugs for Type 2 diabetes that have either beneficial or neutral effects on coronary heart disease risk,” Saleheen said. READ MORE: Stroke more than doubles risk of dementia, Heart and Stroke Foundation warns Saleheen’s team pored over the genetic data for more than 250,000 people from South Asian, East Asian and European descent. With the data in tow, they found the 16 new ge Continue reading >>

What Does Diabetes Do To Your Heart Disease Risk?

What Does Diabetes Do To Your Heart Disease Risk?

Many people with diabetes also have heart disease. When you do things to take care of your diabetes, like manage your blood sugar, exercise, and eat a healthy diet, that's also good for your heart. It's important to understand your risk and how you can lower it. Besides diabetes, do you also have: A waist that's larger than 35 inches in women or 40 inches in men? Low levels of "good" ( HDL) cholesterol? High levels of "bad" (LDL) cholesterol or triglycerides (another type of fat in the blood)? Even borderline elevated at 130/85 If you're not sure, your doctor can check all those numbers for you. Also, do you: Smoke? Have a family member with heart disease? Your doctor needs that information to work with you on a plan for better heart health. People with diabetes are at risk for: Coronary artery disease. Your coronary arteries are in your heart. Fatty deposits, called plaques, can narrow them. If plaque suddenly breaks, it can cause a heart attack. Exercise, eating a healthy diet, and not smoking are musts. It could be from coronary artery disease or from the diabetes. It can be dangerous and fatal, so aggressive management and follow up is essential Congestive heart failure. This is an ongoing condition in which the heart loses the ability to pump blood effectively. The main symptoms are shortness of breath when you're moving and leg swelling. Many people have both conditions. If you smoke, it's time to quit. Set a date and talk to your doctor. If you've tried to quit before, it's not too late. Many people try several times before they kick the habit for good. Nearly everyone with diabetes can benefit from getting more exercise. It's good for your heart and helps control your blood sugar. Even brisk walking counts, so you don't need a gym. If you're not active now, let Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Your Heart

Diabetes And Your Heart

If you have diabetes, you are more likely to develop coronary heart disease than someone without diabetes. Diabetes causes high levels of glucose in your blood. This is because of a problem with a hormone your pancreas produces called insulin. Insulin is responsible for moving glucose (a type of sugar) from your bloodstream and into the cells of your body for energy. If there little or no insulin being produced, or your body has become resistant to insulin, glucose stays in the bloodstream and can’t move across to your cells to give them energy to work properly. High levels of glucose in your blood can damage the walls of your arteries, and make them more likely to develop fatty deposits (atheroma). If atheroma builds up in your coronary arteries (the arteries that supply oxygen-rich blood to your heart) you will develop coronary heart disease, which can cause angina and heart attack. Types of diabetes Type one diabetes happens when your body cannot make insulin. This type most commonly affects children and young adults, and is a result of your body’s immune system attacking the cells that produce insulin in the pancreas. Type two diabetes occurs when your pancreas isn’t producing enough insulin or your body has become resistant to the insulin it’s producing. Type two diabetes is much more common than type 1 and tends to develop gradually as people get older – usually after the age of 40, but more and more people every year are being diagnosed at a much younger age. It's closely linked with: being overweight, especially if you carry weight around your middle being physically inactive a family history of type 2 diabetes. Some ethnic groups have a much higher rate of diabetes - particularly people of South Asian and African Caribbean origin. Diabetes and your he Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Heart Disease — An Intimate Connection

Diabetes And Heart Disease — An Intimate Connection

By By Om P. Ganda, M.D., Director, Lipid Clinic, Joslin Diabetes Center A strong link between diabetes and heart disease is now well established. Studies from Joslin Diabetes Center several years ago showed a two- to threefold increase in the incidence of heart disease in patients with diabetes compared with those without diabetes who were being followed in the Framingham Heart Study. Women with diabetes have an even greater risk of heart disease compared with those of similar age who do not have diabetes. In fact, cardiovascular disease leading to heart attack or stroke is by far the leading cause of death in both men and women with diabetes. Another major component of cardiovascular disease is poor circulation in the legs, which contributes to a greatly increased risk of foot ulcers and amputations. Several advances in the treatment of heart disease over the past two decades have improved the chances of surviving a heart attack or stroke. However, as the incidence of diabetes steadily increases, so has the number of new cases of heart disease and cardiovascular complications. Unfortunately, in patients with diabetes, improvement in survival has been less than half as much as in the general population. Why Is Heart Disease So Common in People With Diabetes? Diabetes by itself is now regarded as the strongest risk factor for heart disease; however, a variety of mechanisms—not solely blood glucose levels—most likely come into play. The blood vessels in patients with diabetes are more susceptible to other well-established risk factors, such as smoking, high cholesterol and high blood pressure, and more than 90% of patients with diabetes have one or more of these additional risk factors. Some of the increased susceptibility to blood vessel damage that people with diabe Continue reading >>

Diabetes, Heart Disease Risk Linked

Diabetes, Heart Disease Risk Linked

Gene mutations that increase the risk of type 2 diabetes also boost the likelihood of heart diseases, according to a study which explains the link between the two disorders that are the leading cause of global morbidity and death. Type 2 diabetes (T2D) has become a global epidemic affecting more than 380 million people worldwide; yet there are knowledge gaps in understanding the etiology of type-2 diabetes. It is also a significant risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD), but the biological pathways that explain the connection have remained somewhat murky. In an analysis of genetic data, published in the journal Nature Genetics , researchers from University of Pennsylvania in the U.S., looked into what causes type 2 diabetes. They also clarified how T2D and CHD — the two diseases that are the leading cause of global morbidity and mortality— are linked. Genome sequence Examining genome sequence information for more than 2,50,000 people, the researchers first uncovered 16 new diabetes genetic risk factors, and one new CHD genetic risk factor; hence providing novel insights about the mechanisms of the two diseases. They then showed that most of the sites on the genome known to be associated with higher diabetes risk are also associated with higher CHD risk. For eight of these sites, the researchers were able to identify a specific gene variant that influences risk for both diseases. The shared genetic risk factors affect biological pathways, including immunity, cell proliferation, and heart development. “Identifying these gene variants linked to both type 2 diabetes and CHD risk in principle opens up opportunities to lower the risk of both outcomes with a single drug,” said Danish Saleheen, assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania. “From a drug Continue reading >>

Diabetes, Heart Disease, And You

Diabetes, Heart Disease, And You

Diabetes is a common disease that is on the rise in America. Having diabetes raises your risk for developing other dangerous conditions, especially heart disease and stroke. November is National Diabetes Month, a time to raise awareness about preventing and managing diabetes and protecting yourself from its complications. Diabetes is a serious condition that happens when your body can’t make enough of a hormone called insulin or can’t properly use the insulin it has. Insulin helps your body digest sugars that come from what you eat and drink. Without enough insulin, sugar builds up in your blood. Over time, that sugar buildup damages your nerves, blood vessels, heart, and kidneys. More than 29 million Americans have diabetes, or about 1 of every 11 people. 1 About 8 million of them don’t know they have diabetes. Another 86 million—more than 1 in 3 Americans older than 20 years—have prediabetes, a condition in which a person’s blood sugar is high, but not yet high enough to trigger diabetes.2 Most people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. Adults with type 2 diabetes are about twice as likely to die from heart disease as adults who do not have diabetes.3 Surprising Facts About Diabetes Women with diabetes have a 40% greater risk of developing heart disease and a 25% greater risk of stroke than men with diabetes do.5 Experts aren’t sure why the risk is so much greater in women with diabetes than in men with diabetes. Women’s biology may play a role: Women usually have more body fat, which can put them at greater risk for heart disease and stroke. If you are a woman with diabetes, you can take steps to control your condition and improve your chances for avoiding heart disease and stroke (see below). Almost 7 in 10 people with diabetes over age 65 will die o Continue reading >>

Understand Diabetes & Cardiovascular Disease

Understand Diabetes & Cardiovascular Disease

Diabetes and cardiovascular disease often go hand-in-hand. Adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke than people without diabetes. In fact, about 68 percent of people with diabetes die of heart disease or stroke - one more factor that makes cardiovascular disease the most common cause of death in both men and women. In addition, people with diabetes often have a build-up of atherosclerotic plaque throughout the body. About one in three people with diabetes over the age of 50 has peripheral artery disease (PAD), which is the narrowing of blood vessels by plaque in parts of the body other than the heart, for example in the legs or the kidneys. Continue reading >>

8 Ways To Avoid Heart Attacks And Strokes If You Have Diabetes

8 Ways To Avoid Heart Attacks And Strokes If You Have Diabetes

Protect your heart Although many people with type 2 diabetes worry about losing their vision or having an amputation, the greater risk is to the heart and brain. About 65% of people with type 2 diabetes die of heart disease or stroke. They are two to four times more likely to die of heart disease than people without diabetes. "When someone does get a diagnosis of diabetes, they probably have had prediabetes for as long as 10 years," says Gerald Bernstein, MD. "By the time their diagnosis is made, their risk for cardiovascular disease is extremely high. And then 10 years later, they will have their first cardiovascular event." An enormous challenge "People with type 2 diabetes are faced with an enormous challenge. Because they not only have the problem of glucose metabolism that has gone astray, but in most patients, they have an associated problem related to their cholesterol and to their blood pressure, and obviously their weight," says Dr. Bernstein, director of the diabetes management program at the Gerald J. Friedman Diabetes Institute at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City. "All of these things have to be attacked with the same vigor." To help prevent heart attacks and stroke, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases recommends the following steps. Control your blood sugar If you've been prescribed medication, take it. To make sure your blood sugar is in the safe zone, get a hemoglobin A1C test at least twice a year. This test measures the amount of glucose stuck to red blood cells, which is a sign of blood sugar control in the previous three months. (Aim for below 7%). For a better sense of your daily blood sugar or how food affects it, you can prick your finger and use a blood glucose monitor to get a reading. (It should be 90 Continue reading >>

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