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Why Does Diabetes Affect Your Heart?

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 >>

Heart Disease: The Diabetes Connection

Heart Disease: The Diabetes Connection

Most people living with diabetes are aware that they have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. But the statistics can be truly staggering: Nearly two-thirds of people with diabetes have high blood pressure, and, according to the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes are two to four times more likely to die of heart disease or have a stroke than people who don't have the condition. The good news: Learning more about the link between heart disease and diabetes can help you take steps to help protect your heart and manage your diabetes. How Diabetes and Heart Disease Are Related The connection between diabetes and heart disease starts with high blood sugar levels. Over time, the high glucose in the bloodstream can damage the arteries, causing them to become stiff and hard. Fatty material that builds up on the inside of these blood vessels, a condition known as atherosclerosis. This can eventually block blood flow to the heart or brain, leading to heart attack or stroke. Your risk of heart disease with diabetes is further elevated if you also have a family history of cardiovascular disease or stroke. Other heart facts to consider: People with diabetes develop cardiovascular disease at a much earlier age than others. Heart disease that leads to heart attack or stroke is the leading cause of death among people with diabetes. A person who has diabetes has the same risk of heart attack as someone who is not diabetic, but already had a heart attack. Protecting Your Heart When You Have Diabetes If you believe you are at a higher risk for heart disease, don’t despair. There are several small lifestyle changes you can make to not only help prevent heart disease, but also manage your diabetes more effectively. Be active. The American Heart Association recomme Continue reading >>

Diabetes Drug Jardiance Reduces Heart Disease Death

Diabetes Drug Jardiance Reduces Heart Disease Death

With commentary by senior study author Silvio Inzucchi, MD, professor of medicine and director of the Yale University Diabetes Center A new glucose-lowering drug, empagliflozin (Jardiance), can not only help treat diabetes, but can protect against cardiovascular-related deaths, new research suggests. That is important, since those with type 2 diabetes are at much higher risk of cardiovascular disease. About two of every three people with type 2 diabetes die of heart disease or stroke, the American Diabetes Association says. In the new study, Jardiance helped prevent one in three cardiovascular-related deaths in patients with diabetes who had established heart disease, the researchers found. "We found that the risk for cardiovascular death was reduced by 38%, overall death [from any cause] by 32%, and hospitalization for heart failure by 35%,'' says Silvio Inzucchi, MD, professor of medicine and director of the Yale University Diabetes Center. He presented the findings at the meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) in Stockholm on September 17. The findings were also published Sept. 17 in the The New England Journal of Medicine. "This is the first time that a diabetes drug has shown such a benefit in high-risk patients," Dr. Inzucchi says. "There were also no major safety signals [side effects] except for the known side effect of this class of increasing the risk of genital infections…'' Empagliflozin, or Jardiance, is in a class known as a SGLT-2, a sodium glucose cotransporter-2. It was FDA-approved in 2014. It can be given as a solo treatment or in combination with other diabetes drugs. Other drugs in the SGLT-2 class include Invokana (canagliflozin) and Farxiga (dapagliflozin), sometimes combined with other drugs. The SGLT-2 drugs lower Continue reading >>

The Heart And Diabetes

The Heart And Diabetes

Tweet The heart is hugely powerful organ that works non-stop/round the clock to keep blood, which carries oxygen and many other important substances, flowing through your body. Diabetes affects this vital function as prolonged, poorly controlled blood glucose levels increase the risk of the body's blood vessels narrowing, or becoming blocked. This can prevent certain parts of the body from receiving the oxygen and nutrients they need. About the heart The heart is a cone-shaped muscle that is roughly the same size as an adult fist. Located between the lungs, it is made of cardiac muscle, which unlike other types of muscle, never gets tired. While the heart is a single organ, it acts as a double pump. The first pump sends oxygen-poor blood to your lungs where it dumps carbon dioxide and collects oxygen. This oxygen-rich blood is returned to the heart and then pumped to the organs of your body through a network of arteries. Veins carry the blood back to the heart and the whole process (circulation) starts again. How diabetes affects the heart People with diabetes face a greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD), with statistics showing that diabetics are roughly five times more likely to suffer from CVD in the future than those without diabetes. Tweet Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder that results in hyperglycemia (high blood glucose levels) due to the body: Being ineffective at using the insulin it has produced; also known as insulin resistance and/or Being unable to produce enough insulin Type 2 diabetes is characterised by the body being unable to metabolise glucose (a simple sugar). This leads to high levels of blood glucose which over time may damage the organs of the body. From this, it can be understood that for someone with diabetes som Continue reading >>

How Ra Inflammation Affects Your Heart

How Ra Inflammation Affects Your Heart

Researchers explore why having rheumatoid increases the risk of heart disease and recommend better risk assessment. Among the serious complications people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) experience, cardiovascular disease heads the list. Having RA doubles the risk of most heart problems, including heart attack, stroke and atherosclerosis — the buildup of fat, cholesterol and cellular debris (plaque) on blood vessel walls. Research shows that traditional risk factors don’t explain the increased rates in people with RA. “The risk in patients with RA is above and beyond traditional risk factors for heart disease such as high blood pressure, diabetes and smoking,” explains John Davis III, MD, associate professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic’s Cardio-Rheumatology Clinic in Rochester, Minn. “Those factors are important, but they don’t account for a big part of the risk, which may result from inflammation.” Why the High Risk if You Have RA? Daniel H. Solomon, MD, a professor at Harvard Medical School in Boston and a leading researcher on cardiovascular disease and RA, says the inflammatory processes in RA and heart disease are very similar. In RA, inflammation attacks the synovium — the thin layer of tissue that lines your joints — but it can move to other organs, including the heart. One of the possible victims is the endothelium, the innermost layer of blood vessels. Inflammation causes damage to the blood vessel lining, and plaque builds up. This fatty deposit narrows arteries, raising blood pressure and reducing the flow of blood to your heart and other organs. In a 2015 study in Nature Reviews Rheumatology, British investigators reported that people with RA are more likely to have atherosclerosis than the general population and that they develop it at Continue reading >>

Women With Diabetes Face Greater Risk Of Heart Disease

Women With Diabetes Face Greater Risk Of Heart Disease

HEALTH FEATURE ARCHIVE If you are overweight, you are at risk for diabetes. And if you are a woman, you should know that diabetes can affect you differently than a man, particularly your heart. Diabetes is on the rise, both in men and women, young and old. Some 16 million Americans have diabetes, about one-third of whom do not know it. More people than ever before are developing type 2 diabetes, mainly because of obesity and inactivity, the two major risk factors for this type of diabetes. Most women with diabetes have type 2 diabetes, which is more common in older people. Women who develop diabetes during pregnancy, known as gestational diabetes, are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Diabetes can lead to blindness, kidney failure, nerve damage that can result in foot or leg amputation, heart disease, and stroke . Special attention must be paid to this public health problem, particularly in women. Did You Know That... About 90 percent of diabetes in the U.S. is the type 2 form, which occurs in most people after the age of 40. Type 2 diabetes is increasing in young people, especially among those who are overweight, physically inactive, or have a family history of diabetes. Obesity is a major risk factor for diabetes. Upper-body obesity is a stronger risk factor for type 2 diabetes than excess weight below the waist. Regular physical activity can protect against type 2 diabetes, while a lack of exercise is a risk factor for developing diabetes. Many studies have shown that women with diabetes have more than three times the risk of developing heart disease - the number one killer of all women - than women without diabetes. (Men with diabetes have a 1.7 higher risk.) Even younger women with diabetes have an increased risk of heart disease. Why d Continue reading >>

The Effects Of Diabetes On Your Body

The Effects Of Diabetes On Your Body

When you hear the word “diabetes,” your first thought is likely about high blood sugar. Blood sugar is an often-underestimated component of your health. When it’s out of whack over a long period of time, it could develop into diabetes. Diabetes affects your body’s ability to produce or use insulin, a hormone that allows your body to turn glucose (sugar) into energy. Here’s what symptoms may occur to your body when diabetes takes effect. Diabetes can be effectively managed when caught early. However, when left untreated, it can lead to potential complications that include heart disease, stroke, kidney damage, and nerve damage. Normally after you eat or drink, your body will break down sugars from your food and use them for energy in your cells. To accomplish this, your pancreas needs to produce a hormone called insulin. Insulin is what facilitates the process of pulling sugar from the blood and putting it in the cells for use, or energy. If you have diabetes, your pancreas either produces too little insulin or none at all. The insulin can’t be used effectively. This allows blood glucose levels to rise while the rest of your cells are deprived of much-needed energy. This can lead to a wide variety of problems affecting nearly every major body system. The effects of diabetes on your body also depends on the type you have. There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1, also called juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is an immune system disorder. Your own immune system attacks the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, destroying your body’s ability to make insulin. With type 1 diabetes, you must take insulin to live. Most people are diagnosed as a child or young adult. Type 2 is related to insulin resistance. It used to occur i Continue reading >>

Conditions That Increase Risk For Heart Disease

Conditions That Increase Risk For Heart Disease

Several medical conditions can increase your risk for heart disease. If you have one of these conditions, you can take steps to control it and lower your risk. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease. It is a medical condition that occurs when the pressure of the blood in your arteries and other blood vessels is too high. The high pressure, if not controlled, can affect your heart and other major organs of your body, including your kidneys and brain. High blood pressure is often called a “silent killer” because many people do not notice symptoms to signal high blood pressure. Lowering blood pressure by changes in lifestyle or by medication can reduce your risk for heart disease and heart attack. High Cholesterol Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance made by the liver or found in certain foods. Your liver makes enough for your body’s needs, but we often get more cholesterol from the foods we eat. If we take in more cholesterol than the body can use, the extra cholesterol can build up in the walls of the arteries, including those of the heart. This leads to narrowing of the arteries and can decrease the blood flow to the heart, brain, kidneys, and other parts of the body. Some cholesterol is “good,” and some is “bad.” High cholesterol is the term used for high levels of low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, which are considered “bad” because they can lead to heart disease. A higher level of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or HDL, is considered “good” because it provides some protection against heart disease. A blood test can detect the amount of cholesterol and triglycerides (a related kind of fat) in your blood. Diabetes Diabetes mellitus also increases the risk for heart disease. Your body needs glucose (sugar) for energy. Continue reading >>

Bypass Best For People With Diabetes

Bypass Best For People With Diabetes

Surgery beats stenting if you have diabetes and heart disease, too. Both bypass surgery and its less invasive alternative, angioplasty plus stenting, are used to open severely narrowed coronary arteries. For most people, the two procedures have the same long-term benefits and risks. In people with diabetes, though, a new trial suggests that bypass surgery may be better than angioplasty plus stenting: it led to lower rates of heart attack and death over the next five years. In angioplasty, artery-blocking deposits of cholesterol-filled plaque are pushed aside with a balloon. A small metal cylinder, or stent, is left behind to hold the vessel open. The balloon and stent are maneuvered into the heart through an artery in the groin. In bypass surgery, which requires opening the chest, a surgeon uses spare blood vessels to reroute blood around the blockages. The results of the trial—Future Revascularization Evaluation in People with Diabetes Mellitus (FREEDOM)—were published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Nov. 6, 2012. It's considered one of the most important clinical trials of last year and sheds light on a longstanding controversy about which procedure is better for treating people with diabetes who have severely blocked coronary arteries. "This finding is really quite important, since the opposite strategy is used more often right now, because angioplasty is less painful and seems more convenient," says cardiologist Dr. Thomas Lee, co-editor in chief of the Harvard Heart Letter. The decision to perform angioplasty is often made while performing a diagnostic procedure known as cardiac catheterization. It's often convenient for the specialists performing the catheterization to think, "As long as we are here, let's fix this now," rather than stepping back and 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 >>

Heart Disease And Stroke With Diabetes

Heart Disease And Stroke With Diabetes

Heart and blood vessel damage can affect anyone, but these problems occur more often in people with diabetes and can develop at an earlier age. If your family has a history of high blood pressure, stroke, or heart disease, you might carry some of the same genes that can lead to these problems. If you also have diabetes, the likelihood of blood vessel damage is even greater. No one knows exactly why people with diabetes are more likely to have these problems, but some possible reasons are: Blood-fat levels tend to be high when blood sugar levels are high. High levels of certain blood fats (especially cholesterol, LDL or bad cholesterol, and triglycerides) increase the risk of blood vessel damage and heart attack. High blood pressure, which is more common in people with diabetes than in other people, also increases the chances for heart disease and stroke. How Damage Happens Arteries, the blood vessels that carry blood from your heart to the rest of your body, are like flexible, elastic tubes. Inside the artery walls are slippery to let blood pass through quickly. When fat begins to build up on the artery walls, it makes the artery thick and less flexible. The lining of the artery wall becomes sticky instead of slippery, causing more fat to build up. The fat build-up clogs and blocks the artery. When the artery is blocked, the parts of the body beyond the blockage can't get the oxygen and nutrients they need. This causes damage that can lead to serious health problems including high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, kidney damage, and poor blood flow to the arms, legs, and head. Preventing Heart Disease You can't change the fact that you have diabetes or a family history of high blood pressure, stroke, or heart disease. But there are many things you can do to lower yo 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 >>

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Type 2 diabetes is a serious condition, but the number-one cause of death for people with type 2 diabetes is actually heart disease. Heart disease and diabetes often occur together, and the link between them is high blood sugar. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. In fact, the CDC reports heart disease is responsible for one of every four deaths. For this reason, it’s essential for anyone with type 2 diabetes to understand the link between heart disease and diabetes and take proper preventative measures to manage or reverse their diabetes. If you have type 2 diabetes, you probably already know about insulin resistance. Because the body does not use insulin properly, the pancreas tries to compensate by making extra insulin. Over time, it can’t keep up, and the body cannot maintain normal blood glucose levels. (Find out more information about insulin resistance here.) Those high glucose levels can harden arteries over time. Your arteries need to be spacious and flexible to get proper blood and oxygen circulation throughout the body; tight and rigid arteries force the heart to work harder to pump the blood around. This leads to heart disease. Additionally, people with type 2 diabetes may follow certain lifestyles that can trigger heart disease. The same diet and habits that lead to type 2 diabetes can also lead to heart disease because of their connection to high blood pressure and high cholesterol. And it doesn’t stop there: Those same problems can lead to other conditions, such as erectile dysfunction or stroke. The good news: Both type 2 diabetes and heart disease can be prevented or managed by lifestyle choices. Lean proteins and heart-healthy meals can help keep cholesterol levels low, and ample research supports eating a vegetarian Continue reading >>

The Connection Between Diabetes, Heart Disease, And Stroke

The Connection Between Diabetes, Heart Disease, And Stroke

Aaron contacted TheDiabetesCouncil with some questions related to diabetes and heart disease. Aaron is 57 years old. He has had Type 2 diabetes for 12 years. Aaron visited his doctor related to swelling in his ankles and feet, shortness of breath, and weight gain. After some tests, the doctor informed him that on top of his Type 2 diabetes, he now has congestive heart failure. He was now wondering why did he have heart disease now and was it because of his diabetes? In order to help Aaron and other people with diabetes understand the connection between diabetes and heart disease and how to prevent it, we decided to look into the specific link between the two diseases. What is the connection between diabetes and heart disease? According to the American Heart Association, there exist a relationship between cardiovascular disease and diabetes: 68% percent of people with diabetes who are aged 65 and older die from heart disease and 16% die of a stroke. People with diabetes are more likely to die from a heart disease than those without diabetes. The National Institute of Health states the following for people with diabetes: They have additional causes of heart disease They are at higher risk of heart disease than those who do not have diabetes They may develop heart disease at a younger age Risk assessment must take into account the major risk factors (cigarette smoking, elevated blood pressure, abnormal serum lipids and lipoproteins, and hyperglycemia) and predisposing risk factors (excess body weight and abdominal obesity, physical inactivity, and family history of CVD). Identification of risk factors is a major first step for developing a plan for risk reduction in persons with diabetes. – Scott M. Grundy et al, Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease In two words, the conn Continue reading >>

Insulin Resistance: Risk Factor For Heart Disease And Diabetes

Insulin Resistance: Risk Factor For Heart Disease And Diabetes

MORE Insulin resistance is a metabolic disorder that occurs when the body's cells cannot properly intake insulin. Insulin, which is produced in the pancreas, is a hormone that helps the body use energy from blood glucose, or blood sugar from digested food, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. "Think of insulin as the key that unlocks the door to their cells. That door needs to be opened in order for glucose to exit the blood into the cell," said Kimber Stanhope, a nutrition research scientist at the University of California at Davis. When people are insulin resistant, their pancreas, which acts as the locksmith of sorts, is still making those "keys," but the locks — the receptors on cells that take in blood sugar — aren't working as well as they should, Stanhope said. That’s a problem because insulin doesn't just play a role in helping the body use blood sugar as fuel; it's critical for many other bodily processes as well. Being insulin resistant can put people on the path towards developing Type 2 diabetes, and is the single best predictor of who will develop diabetes 10 or 20 years down the line. Once someone is pre-diabetic or diabetic, the pancreas simply can't produce enough insulin to make the cells sufficiently take up glucose and blood sugar levels rise. Insulin resistance also raises the risk of other disorders, such as heart disease. More than 50 million Americans have metabolic disorders that include insulin resistance, according to the American Heart Association. The condition occurs in more than 50 percent of obese children, according to a 2006 study published in the journal Diabetes Care. Causes One of the primary causes of insulin resistance is excess body fat, Stanhope said. "Nearly everybody that is ov Continue reading >>

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