Diabetes and Heart Disease

Diabetes and Heart Disease

Diabetes heart disease occurs when there is a prolonged condition of unmanaged diabetes.

People with Diabetes are more prone to heart attacks due to the change in the makeup of the blood vessels. Diabetes leads to thickened blood vessels due to the free fatty acids in the blood, leading to heart problems.

There’s a big link between diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. In fact, two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke, also called cardiovascular disease.

How will I know if I have Heart Disease?

Many times symptoms go unnoticed. Although this may differ from individual to individual, some symptoms are:

  1. Pain in the chest
  2. Shortness in breath
  3. Irregular heart beat
  4. Swelling of legs and ankles

An electrocardiogram (ECG) helps in diagnosis of heart diseases.

What are the risk factors for Heart disease in people with Diabetes?

Diabetes itself is a major risk factor for heart disease. Apart from this, other risk factors include:

  1. Central Obesity
  2. High blood pressure
  3. Smoking
  4. Sedentary lifestyle
  5. Age

What are the types of heart diseases that occur?

The following types of heart diseases are common among individuals with diabetes.

Coronary artery disease

Hardening or thickening of the blood vessels going to the heart, leading to a heart disease is called CAD.

Cerebral Vascular Disease

This effects blood flow to the brain, leading to strokes. This is caused by the narrowing of blood vessels going to the brain.


A stroke results when the blood supply to the brain is suddenly cut off, which can occur when a blood vessel in the brain or neck is blocked or bursts. People with diabetes are at increased risk for strokes caused by blood clots.

Heart Failure

Heart failure develops over a period of years, and symptoms can get worse over time. People with diabetes have at least twice the risk of heart failure as other people.

Peripheral Heart Disease

Another condition related to heart disease and common in people with diabetes is peripheral arterial disease (PAD). With this condition, the blood vessels in the legs are narrowed or blocked by fatty deposits, decreasing blood flow to the legs and feet.

What can be done to prevent Heart Disease?

Keeping the blood vessels healthy is the key even though you are at higher risk for stroke and heart disease.

Make sure that your diet is “heart-healthy.”

Meet your dietician to customize a heart healthy diet for you. Make sure to include more fiber, lesser saturated fats.

Keep a check on your symptoms

Reporting all forms of symptoms, even the smallest may help in early detection of the disease hence prevention.

Quit Smoking:

Smoking is a risk factor for all types of heart diseases. Take help from your physician to help you find ways to quit smoking.