Diabetes and cardiovascular disease: A deadly duo
Learn about the vital education patients need to improve their outcomes.
Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can lead to multiple complications.
The most common complication of diabetes is cardiovascular disease.
Nurses should use patient-centered communication when educating patients about the risks and challenges of diabetes.
By Charlotte A. Wisnewski, PhD, RN, CDE, CNE
Eugene Jones, age 66, has a 10-year history of type 2 diabetes mellitus; 1 year ago, he suffered a myocardial infarction (MI). During today’s routine clinic appointment, his fasting blood glucose level is 215 mg/dL and his blood pressure is 160/94 mm Hg. He tells the nurse he sometimes forgets to take his diabetes and high blood pressure medications—metformin, metoprolol, and low-dose aspirin. He states that he walks about 15 minutes daily and tolerates the exercise well.
Diabetes mellitus occurs in four main forms, all of them marked by hyperglycemia. The most common forms are type 1, which results from autoimmune destruction of pancreatic beta cells, and type 2, caused by insulin resistance or an insulin secretory defect. Diabetes of all types increases the risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). (See Diabetes complications.)
Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can lead to:
• cardiovascular disease (the most common complication)
• macrovascular problems of the cardiac vessels, resulting in myocardial infarction
• cerebrovascular damage, causing stroke
• microvascular defects involving the eye and blood vessels, leading to blindness
• vascular involvement of the kidn Continue reading