Does Type 2 Diabetes Increase Your Risk of Heart Disease?

Type 2 Diabetes and Risk of Heart Disease

Does type 2 diabetes increase your risk of heart disease? Unfortunately, it does. According to data gathered by the National Heart Association in 2012, 65% of diabetics will die of either stroke or heart disease. Let’s see how diabetes increases your chances of having to deal with this condition.

High Blood Pressure

Individuals suffering from diabetes are prone to hypertension (high blood pressure). Hypertension in diabetics is the result of high blood sugar levels, which put extra pressure on your blood vessels.

High blood pressure can put you at a higher risk of developing heart disease and other heart-related problems. It does so by kicking your heart into overdrive and making it work harder to pump blood. It’s no surprise that high blood pressure can give you a heart attack.

If you have diabetes, your aim should be to keep your blood pressure under 140/90.

High Levels of Stress

Emotional stress makes your body produce extra amounts of cortisol, which means there’s a higher chance you’ll develop heart disease.

Diabetics have to learn to manage stress to keep cortisol production at bay. It helps to start working out regularly, and you might want to give yoga and meditation a chance. If that’s not your style, you can pick up painting, gardening, fishing, or any other activity that calms you.

High Blood Sugar Levels

Aside from heightening your insulin resistance, constantly high blood sugar levels can put you at a greater risk of developing heart-related issues.

It is extremely important to take the A1C tests regularly. Commonly, this test is done every 3 months. The lower your A1C number is, the better you’ve been at controlling blood sugar in the months prior to the test. The goal for many patients is to stay below 7%. You should consult your doctor about the ideal number for you.

High Cholesterol and Triglycerides Levels

People suffering from diabetes have a tendency towards high cholesterol levels. That’s mostly due to a condition called diabetic dyslipidemia which boosts the levels of unhealthy cholesterol (LDL) in your body. Atherogenic dyslipidemia, a lipid disorder connected to high insulin resistance can also cause a rise in unhealthy cholesterol levels.

High cholesterol puts you at a higher risk of getting heart disease. It is, therefore, very important to keep your cholesterol and triglycerides under control. If you suffer from diabetes, you might have to start taking blood pressure medications at an earlier age.


Due to the high levels of insulin resistance, diabetics are more prone to obesity. A higher BMI is linked with increased insulin resistance.

Obesity is among the top risk factors when it comes to heart disease and other coronary problems. If you’re diabetic, you should talk to your doctor and nutritionist and come up with a diet that will help you lose excess weight or maintain a healthy weight.

The Wrap-Up

On average, diabetics are twice as likely to develop heart disease or die of stroke. The data shows that heart disease is the biggest cause of death among people who have diabetes. But your diet and lifestyle have a significant impact on your heart health so you may be able to prevent these complications.