Dr. Malinski weighs in:
Diabetes is a chronic disease that has effects on many organs in our body, and heart and arteries are no exception. Diabetics are 2 to 4 times more likely to have any of the cardiovascular events (stroke, heart attack, angina, cardiac death) than people without diabetes.
Most diabetic patients (especially those with diabetes type 2) die either form heart disease or stroke. Even when diabetes is treated, the risk of cardiovascular disease is increased because most patients with diabetes type 2 also have metabolic syndromes, which means coexisting high blood pleasure, abnormal cholesterol/triglycerides, and obesity. That is why it is important not only to control diabetes, but also treat these other risk factors.
The National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) campaign focuses on the ABCs of reducing cardiovascular risk in diabetics. ABC treatment goals are:
- Hemoglobin A1C below 7.0
- Blood pressure < 130/80
- Cholesterol LDL < 100
Also, smoking at least doubles the risk of cardiovascular events in diabetic patients. Every diabetic patient (diabetes type 2) should be taking daily aspirin to reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke, unless contraindicated because of other coexisting medical problems.