General Articles

Type 2 Diabetes – Cardiovascular Complications Are Common In Diabetics!

Type 2 Diabetes – Cardiovascular Complications Are Common In Diabetics!

Cardiovascular complications are quite common in people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes affects both the small and large blood vessels. Driven by the rapid beating of your heart, your cardiovascular system includes many miles of veins, arteries, and smaller blood vessels, called capillaries. If your heart stops beating, or if major blood vessels clog, you could die.

Heart attacks are a prime cause of death in middle-aged people with Type 2 diabetes, who have fatality rates two to four times higher than those of middle-aged people without diabetes. The National Diabetes Statistics 2011 issued by the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, estimates that 68 percent of diabetes-related deaths among people 65 years and above in 2004, were due to a heart disease problem.

The Johns Hopkins Point of Care Information Technology (Johns Hopkins POC-IT Center), identifies coronary heart disease as one of the major causes of death worldwide. The age of 40 is the starting period for coronary heart disease risk. In fact, a study published in the August 2009 issue of Circulation identifies age as the strongest risk for the development of cardiovascular disease.

Other factors that point to the development of cardiovascular problems include:

a strong family history,

high blood fat levels,


being a male,

high blood pressure,

abdominal obesity,

not eating enough fruits and vegetables, and

a lack of regular exercise.

Diabetes is also a strong predictor for the development of cardiovascular disease. As mentioned in a study published in the July 1998 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, diabetics without a history of having had a heart attack, have a risk for the development of heart attack that is equal to that of a non-diabetic with a previous history of the said problem.

What are the usual signs and symptoms of cardiovascular disease?

The description of the symptoms of cardiovascular disease may vary depending on the gender and age of the diabetic. It may also depend on the duration of diabetes, ethnicity, and education. In most cases chest discomfort is present and it is usually felt in the mid-abdominal area radiating to the jaw:

physical exertion,

decreased tolerance to exercise,

sleep disturbance,

snoring, and

increased fatigue

are some of the most significant complaints that may point to a cardiovascular problem. However, in diabetics most especially in women, these symptoms may be absent.

Very high blood pressure is dangerous for people with diabetes and should be treated. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends doctors treat blood pressure to reduce it to a level of 130/80. A physical examination may reveal:

a blood pressure reading of more than 135/80,

a heart rate of more than 80 beats per minute,

the presence of poor dentition,

stiffness of visible blood vessels,

heart murmurs,

the presence of neuropathies,

decreased pulses in the lower extremities, and

calluses on both feet.

In younger men, the presence of erectile dysfunction may also increase the likelihood of cardiovascular problems, particularly coronary artery disease.

How to prevent cardiovascular disease in diabetes

diabetics who smoke should quit smoking,

it is essential blood pressure should be below 130/80,

high levels of blood must be controlled,

metformin and Acarbose are two of the oral hypoglycemic medications noted by long-term studies to have additional beneficial effects for cardiovascular problems,

obese diabetics should initiate weight loss. However, those who cannot achieve sufficient weight loss can consider having bariatric surgery,

follow a healthy diet,

have regular physical activity. However, you should always check with your doctor before beginning any new program of exercise, particularly when any complications from diabetes occur.

initiate aspirin therapy. Your doctor will need to initiate this treatment… it is usually prescribed for people with a history of cardiovascular disease, and in diabetics with an increased risk for this problem