How Diabetes Causes Heart Attacks

Heart Attack and Diabetes Cause and Effect Relationship

Heart and vascular disease often go hand-in-hand with diabetes. Persons with diabetes are at a much greater risk for heart attacks, strokes, and high blood pressure. People who have diabetes, that goes undetected and untreated, face an increased risk for heart disease because atherosclerosis may occur at earlier-than-expected ages and more severe in diabetics. People with diabetes also tend to develop heart disease or have strokes at an earlier age than other people. The two most common types of diabetes are type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes - an autoimmune disease

Type 1 diabetes (also called insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus) is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system attacks the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, resulting in no or a low amount of insulin. According to the American Diabetes Association, damage to the coronary arteries is two to four times more likely in asymptomatic persons with type 1 diabetes than in the general population.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes (also called non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus) is the result of the body's inability to make enough, or to properly use, insulin.
Diabetes and Heart Attack Statistics

Many studies demonstrate that persons with type 2 diabetes are at increased risk for heart disease. In fact, one study found that persons with type 2 diabetes without apparent heart problems ran the same risk for heart disease as persons without diabetes who had already suffered one heart attack.

Women who have not gone through menopause usually have less risk of heart disease than men of the same age. People with diabetes who have already had one heart attack run an even greater risk of having a second one. In addition, heart attacks in people with diabetes are more serious and more likely to result in death.

According to a study that was published in the year 2006 has pointed out that since the heart muscle of diabetics uses a much higher percentage of fat for energy than that of non-diabetics, which increased the risk for heart attacks, more than 75 percent of diabetics’ die of heart disease.

Diabetes and Blood Sugar Levels

However, according to a recent research, it has been found that people with diabetes who maintain intensive, low blood sugar levels are less likely to suffer from heart attacks and coronary diseases. Though patients can reduce their risk of suffering from heart attack by maintaining healthy blood pressure levels and cholesterol reduction yet the fact still remains that diabetics are at risk of heart disease.

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