Patients with diabetes are more likely to experience a heart disease and stroke. Also, many people with diabetes have other conditions that increase their chance of developing a heart disease or a stroke. These conditions are called risk factors. One of the risk factors for heart diseases include a family history of heart disease. If one or more members of your family have had a heart attack at an early age (before age 55 for men or 65 for women), you may be at an increased risk.
You can’t change the fact that heart disease runs in your family, but you can take steps to control the other risk factors that can lead to a heart disease including:
Central obesity means carrying extra weight around the waist, as opposed to the hips. A waist measurement of more than 40 inches for men and more than 35 inches for women means you have central obesity. Your risk of heart disease is higher because abdominal fat can increase the production of LDL (bad) cholesterol, the type of blood fat that can be deposited on the inside of blood vessel walls.
If you have high blood pressure, also called hypertension, your heart must work harder to pump blood. High blood pressure can strain the heart, damage blood vessels, and increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, eye problems, and kidney problems.
Smoking doubles your risk of getting a heart disease. Stopping smoking is especially important for people with diabetes because both smoking and diabetes narrow blood vessels. Smoking also increases the risk of other long-term complications, such as eye problems. In addition, smoking can damage the blood vessels in your legs and increase the risk of amputation.