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Link between Diabetes & Heart Disease

Learn about the link between diabetes and heart disease from Dr. Dennis Finkielstein in this Howcast video.

Transcript

So, there's a real link between diabetes and heart disease. Unfortunately, diabetes is very common in the United States. Almost one-third of Americans are either diabetic, or pre-diabetic. And having diabetes, leads to a change in the metabolism of the body. This changes the way the body handles foods, sugars and fats and that can lead to acceleration of atherosclerosis, or a buildup of heart disease in the arteries of the heart.

Having diabetes has led to a two to three-fold increase in your chance of stroke, heart attack, or even death. But the good new is that there is treatment for diabetes. The most simple treatment would be a change in lifestyle, increasing the amount of cardiovascular exercise you get, making healthy choices with what you eat, and lowering your weight. There are also medications that your doctor will prescribe, and if taken daily, help reduce the chance of developing heart disease from diabetes.

When a person has diabetes, the sugar in the body is high and the way we handle insulin is altered. This can lead directly to the buildup of atherosclerotic, or cholesterol plaque in the arteries of the heart, brain, or other areas of the body and that can lead to things like heart attack and stroke.
Your doctor can tell if you have diabetes with simple blood tests. They'll measure the sugar in the body at the moment, as well as the measurement of some average sugar levels over the proceeding few months. So diabetes has been well-established as one of the major causes of heart disease.

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