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According to the American Heart Association (AHA), a survey of people age 45 or older with type 2 diabetes showed only about half of those surveyed recognized their risk for heart disease.
But when you have diabetes, heart disease is a real risk. In fact, diabetes is considered one of the seven major controllable risk factors of heart disease by the AHA.
“If you’re a diabetic, your risk for heart disease is as if you have already had an event,” says Ann Davis, M.D., an independent cardiologist and a member of Edward Hospital’s medical staff. “If you can watch the sugars and prevent diabetes with diet, exercise and lifestyle, you’ll do better in the long term.”
Consider these facts from the AHA’s Know Diabetes by Heart campaign:
Those with diabetes, particularly type 2 diabetes, may have other risk factors such as an inactive lifestyle, obesity, high cholesterol or high blood pressure, that put them at risk for cardiovascular disease or stroke.
Preventing the onset of diabetes plays a key part in heart health, making a healthy lifestyle a key to prevention.
“If you don’t want to be a diabetic, eat like a diabetic,” Davis said, adding that it’s acceptable to make room for the occasional treat. “It’s about prevention, but don’t let perfection be the enemy of great.”
The AHA offers a few tips for those living with diabetes to help keep their risk for heart disease in check:
Learn about diabetes care at Edward-Elmhurst Health.
Personalized heart health starts here. Take a free HeartAware health assessment.
You have prediabetes — can you fix it?
Learn more from Healthy Driven Chicago:
Top risk factors for type 2 diabetes
Seven factors to know when managing diabetes
Ten tips for eating heart healthy
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