While diabetics are at a higher risk of heart diseases, it is more prevalent in those with type-2 diabetes. In actuality, heart disease is one of the leading causes of mortality in type-2 diabetes patients.
The likelihood that someone may get heart disease depends on the number of heart disease risk factors they have. However, a person with diabetes has 2 to 4 times increased chance of dying from heart disease. Therefore, a person with diabetes has double or even four times the risk of dying, compared to a person with a single health risk factor, such as high blood pressure.
World Diabetes Day 2022: Why are diabetics at a higher risk of heart failure?
Atherosclerosis, which is an accumulation of cholesterol in the blood channels that deliver oxygen and nutrients to the heart, is the most prevalent cause of heart disease in a person with diabetes.
The body attempts to repair a ruptured cholesterol plaque by sending platelets to seal it when the plaques might tear apart or burst. Due to the narrowness of the artery, platelets may obstruct blood flow, preventing oxygen from being delivered, which might result in a heart attack.
A stroke or peripheral vascular disease can arise from low blood flow to the feet, hands, or arms, which can happen in any of the body's arteries due to the same mechanism. Even modestly elevated blood sugar levels can cause your blood vessels to begin to deteriorate over time, which can result in significant cardiac problems.
This is due to the fact that your body can't adequately utilise all of this sugar, which causes more of it to adhere to your red blood cells and accumulate in your blood. The blood veins delivering blood to and from your heart may get blocked and damaged as a result of this buildup, depriving the heart of nutrients and oxygen.
Therefore, maintaining your HbA1c level as near to your goal as feasible can assist to safeguard your blood vessels and, in turn, your heart. Over time, even slightly elevated blood sugar levels might put you in greater danger.
Can this risk be lowered?
Although there is a significant link between diabetes and heart disease, neither condition are inevitable. People with heart failure and diabetes may have worse clinical results than those with heart failure alone, there are approaches to treat both conditions.
Both heart disease and diabetes may need medication. To prevent these diseases from getting worse and even becoming life-threatening, it's crucial to adhere to the treatment schedule that your doctor has advised.
Treatment for diabetes aims to reduce blood glucose levels, whereas medicine for heart failure aims to enhance the pumping function of the heart by lessening its burden. Along with this, there are lifestyle changes that ensure the reduction of risk.
Here are some lifestyle changes that can significantly lower your risk of heart failure and other heart diseases:
- Regularly exercising as per your doctor's recommendations
- Healthy eating and according to dietary guidelines, such as lowering your salt consumption and balancing your carbohydrate intake
- Quit smoking
- Consuming alcohol in moderation or avoiding it entirely
- Daily checks for weight and blood sugar tests
Keep these things in mind if you are diabetic or are prone to diabetes or any other heart disease.
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