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 Continue reading