You’ve probably heard that people with diabetes are at risk for multiple health complications, including cardiovascular disease. As it turns out, cardiovascular disease is especially common among people with diabetes: The majority of people with type 2 diabetes will eventually develop it.
Although most people have heard of cardiovascular disease, few understand exactly what it involves. Healthcare providers use the term “cardiovascular disease” to describe many conditions that affect blood circulation in the body:
Heart disease happens when blood circulating to the heart is slowed or stopped because of a blocked artery. Heart disease can result in chest pain, a heart attack, or even sudden death.
Heart failure happens when the heart loses its ability to pump blood as it should. Heart failure can be caused by a number of factors. These include damage to the heart or blocked arteries.
Stroke happens when blood flow to the brain is blocked. This is the most common type often because of a blood clot or blockages within arteries.
Peripheral arterial disease consists of blockages in the arteries to the legs and feet.
What causes cardiovascular disease?
Most people think of obesity when they think of cardiovascular disease, but another strong risk factor is age. Your risk of developing cardiovascular disease goes up at age 40, but is highest after age 70.
People with diabetes are two to four times more likely than others to develop cardiovascular disease. Because this risk is so high, cardiovascular disease remains the most common cause of death in people with diabetes.
Seek medical attention if:
You have chest discomfort when you walk or exercise.
You have chest pain along with tiredness (fatigue) or shortness of breath.
Your resting heart rate is usually faster than 100 beats per minute.
You are a young man with erectile dysfunction.
Check out Sarah Bush Lincoln’s Heart to Heart program to learn more about your heart health. Call 217 258-2238.