Exploring the Link Between Diabetes and Heart Disease

Posted by: Tampa Cardio

On: July 1, 2023

The Link Between Diabetes and Heart Disease

While most people are aware that diabetes and heart disease are two potentially severe health conditions, it’s likely that not everyone is aware of the connection between the two.

The fact is that 65% of people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes eventually die from some form of heart disease or stroke and because adults with type 2 diabetes are up to four times more likely to develop heart disease or stroke, it’s easy to see why The American Heart Association has classified type 2 diabetes as one of seven major controllable risk factors that can potentially lead to cardiovascular disease.

How are Diabetes and Heart Disease Linked?

The answer is not diabetes in and of itself, but the associated conditions that typically arise as a result of someone having diabetes. It’s estimated that close to 30 million Americans currently suffer from type 2 diabetes, and many of those that are affected also experience hypertension, high cholesterol, and abnormal blood sugar levels, as well as a higher body fat content leaning toward obesity. Even as diabetes is treated and glucose levels are kept under control, diabetes patients with related conditions are still at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Diabetes and high blood pressure are two very tightly correlated conditions, and patients who have both are more than doubling their risk for heart disease.

Patients with diabetes also tend to experience abnormal cholesterol levels, usually some combination of high “bad” cholesterol types and low “good” cholesterol types. Both high blood pressure and abnormal cholesterol levels are associated with insulin resistance, which occurs when the body produces insulin but does not use it effectively, causing glucose to build up in the patient’s blood instead of being distributed to and absorbed by the body’s cells.

While diabetes is genetic to a certain extent, diet and lifestyle are both major contributing factors as to whether or not someone who is predisposed to the condition actually ends up developing it. A poor diet often leads to obesity, which is not only known to contribute to the risk of heart disease but has also been linked to insulin resistance as well. Closely tied to the obesity epidemic is a lack of physical activity, which only contributes more to the cycle of diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Losing weight, staying active, and exercising frequently have all been shown to reduce blood pressure, increase insulin sensitivity, decrease cardiovascular risk, and in many cases, delay the onset of type 2 diabetes or even prevent it entirely. There are also pharmaceutical drugs (Semaglutide, Ozemptic, Wegovy, Mounjaro, and Tirzepatide) that have entered the market recently that can help combat insulin resistance and doctors across the country are having much success in helping patients lose weight and get healthier overall.

Diabetes in itself is highly treatable and readily addressed with lifestyle and diet adjustments. Though not completely reversible, many patients are able to experience remission from the condition and find that addressing diabetes and its related conditions can be extremely beneficial to one’s overall health, well-being, and lifespan.

Please contact Tampa Cardiovascular Associates today by visiting their site at www.tampacardio.com to learn how nutrition and lifestyle can address type 2 diabetes head-on, and if you are predisposed to diabetes or have insulin resistance, you can learn how to delay and possibly prevent these conditions from ever developing into the more serious conditions of cardiovascular disease and stroke.


Posted by: Tampa Cardio

On: 01/07/2023

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