What does diabetes have to do with heart health? The two are connected in more ways than you think!
Adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to die from heart disease than adults without diabetes. Diabetes is treatable, but even when glucose levels are under control it greatly increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. That’s because people with diabetes may have high blood pressure and abnormal cholesterol and high triglycerides. Those who are obese and lack physical activity are also at a higher risk. November is Diabetes Awareness Month and the American Heart Association wants you to know your risks of cardiovascular disease when you have diabetes.
The American Heart Association considers diabetes to be one of the seven major controllable risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Improving your physical activity to include at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days per week for a total of 150 minutes can help your overall cardiovascular health and delay or prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.
Smoking puts everyone, especially those with diabetes, at a higher risk for heart disease and stroke. Smoking is the most preventable cause of premature death in the United States. Smoking decreases your tolerance for physical activity and increases the tendency for blood to clot. If you already have heart disease, you may think, “What good will it do me to quit smoking now?” But don’t be discouraged. Your lungs can begin to heal themselves as soon as you stop harming them with more smoke. Heart disease and diabetes can be prevented and controlled, but you must follow your treatment plan — and quitting smoking is a big part.
This November, make your health a priority. Prevent diabetes and improve your cardiovascular health by exercising more, knowing your blood pressure numbers and tracking them, and quitting smoking today. For more heart-healthy tips visit www.heart.org.