Type II Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease: Managing Risks

Over 20 million American adults have been diagnosed with Type II diabetes, the diabetic condition in which the body is not efficient in its use of glucose. It is estimated that at least 8 million more have diabetes but don’t know it. Whether due to insufficient insulin production or an inability for the body to properly use this hormone, diabetes is a serious condition because it sets the stage for numerous secondary concerns, including cardiovascular disease.

Cardiovascular disease accounts for the majority of deaths among diabetic patients. Current diagnostic standards for diabetes, as well as diabetes-related cardiovascular disease, include A1c testing. This lab work evaluates how much glucose has attached to the hemoglobin in red blood cells. Hemoglobin is the protein that holds oxygen. Its average lifespan is 3 months. Therefore, the A1c can obtain a clear indicator of blood glucose levels for that 3-month period.  A percentage value over 6.5 indicates diabetes. As percentage value increases so do the risk of cardiovascular disease.

There Is Good News

For individuals who are concerned about maintaining a healthy heart, there must also be a consideration for diabetes risk. If an A1c has indicated higher than normal glucose levels, there is hope in a healthy lifestyle.

Men and women with prediabetes or Type II diabetes are encouraged to make dietary modifications that involve adding more fresh vegetables and fruits to their plates. There are several diet plans, including the Mediterranean, modified carbohydrates, and DASH diets, which have been successful at lowering blood sugar and, thus, the risk of cardiovascular disease. These diets, when combined with a reduction in alcohol consumption and limited trans and saturated fats, can also facilitate a lowering of triglycerides, also associated with cardiovascular events.

Physical exercise is a vital aspect of healthy living and disease prevention. When the objective is to lower that A1c value, research indicates that a combination of aerobic exercise and strength training is ideal. In 2012 Look AHEAD (Action for Health in Diabetes) study, over 2,500 people, separated into two groups, were followed. One group changed nothing; the other gradually increased physical activity over several months.

The active group took the stairs more often and increased walking 10,000 steps a day became the norm. This group also eventually (by week 26) engaged in at least 175 minutes (just under 3 hours) of exercise each week. At the conclusion of the multi-year study, participants in the active group lost weight, lowered their triglycerides, improved good cholesterol, and lowered their A1c.

Premier Cardiology Consultants provides outstanding care in our Lake Success, Forest Hills, and Richmond Hill offices. We would be happy to schedule an appointment for you to visit us at 516-437-5600.

You Might Also Enjoy...

What to Expect During Holter Monitoring

Does your heart feel like it’s beating too fast? Feeling dizzy on and off? Having more palpitations than usual? You might need a Holter monitoring test. Find out what that is and what it reveals about your heart.

Are Heart Problems Genetic?

Genes do play a role in many heart problems. However, if you’re paying attention, your family history can serve as an early warning system for preventing severe illness. Check out the facts about how DNA affects heart health.

What is Atrial Flutter?

Atrial flutter is related to a short circuit in your heart’s electrical system that causes your heart to beat too quickly. Learn more about this potentially dangerous disorder that increases your stroke and heart failure risk.

The Best Heart-Healthy Foods

Your diet plays a significant role in preventing heart disease, but a heart-healthy diet doesn’t mean you have to avoid tasty foods. Our specialty team provides tips on developing menus that please your taste buds as well as your heart.

What You Should Know About Defibrillators

Defibrillators are common in hospital emergency rooms and ambulances. Many workplaces and community gathering sites also have a portable version in their first aid kit. Find out what these life-saving medical devices can and can’t do.