Close link between cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes

Did you know that from 2012 to 2021, cases of type 2 diabetes will almost double in Romania? These figures are alarming because type 2 diabetes paves the way for many other complications such as cardiovascular disease.

Let’s find out exactly why cardiovascular disease and diabetes are so common together, and what we can do to prevent or control them.

Cardiovascular disease risk in people with diabetes

So it is well known in the medical world that people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

A new study, however, shows that the relative impact of a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes is greater at younger ages (under 40).

Thus, people under 40 newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes face a 2-3 times higher risk of cardiovascular disease over a 10-year period compared to younger people without diabetes. In comparison, older people with type 2 diabetes have about 30% higher cardiovascular risk than those without diabetes.

Why is it important to know about this risk?

This study shows that although type 2 diabetes increases the risk of cardiovascular disease at any age, this risk may be greatly increased in younger people. The discovery brings to the fore the need to prevent and treat risk factors for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease from an early age.

The study conducted in Denmark was limited by the fact that the country’s population is not very diverse, and generally has a low risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. More studies of this type in countries with diverse populations and high initial risk are needed to establish a clear link between age and cardiovascular disease risk in people with type 2 diabetes.

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Why does the risk of cardiovascular disease increase in people with diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a condition that affects how your body produces or uses insulin, which leads to an increased level of glucose in your blood. This leads, in the long run, to damage to your blood vessels and therefore to complications of your vascular system and your heart.

Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease have other co-morbidities that influence each other and contribute to an increased risk of early death:

Hypertension

High blood pressure is one of the main risk factors for cardiovascular disease. A study shows that there is also a strong link between hypertension and insulin resistance specific to type 2 diabetes: 50% of patients with hypertension also have insulin resistance and 80% of patients with type 2 diabetes have hypertension.

High cholesterol level

Another risk factor for cardiovascular disease is cholesterol. It has been observed in many studies over the years that type 2 diabetes can influence cholesterol, lowering the level of good cholesterol (HDL) and increasing the level of bad cholesterol (LDL) in the body.

Obesity

Obesity has also been closely linked to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. According to one study, the risk of developing type 2 diabetes is 42% higher in people with a BMI (body mass index) over 35.

How can cardiovascular disease be prevented in patients with type 2 diabetes?

Although type 2 diabetes can feel like a sentence, it can be kept under control. Although the risk of cardiovascular disease is increased after such a diagnosis, this risk decreases considerably if you make the following changes in your daily life:

  • You lose weight (or maintain your body weight within the limits recommended by doctors)
  • Maintain a heart-healthy diet such as that promoted by the Mediterranean diet
  • Maintain an active lifestyle
  • Quit smoking and alcohol
  • Closely monitor blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  • You get regular check-ups with your cardiologist.

Keep cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes under control with Dahna!

While not a substitute for doctor visits, the Dahna health app can help you with all the other steps to healthy living. So in the app you can create a cardiometabolic profile, which you can update with new values of health biomarkers such as blood pressure, cholesterol or blood glucose.

Not only that, the app will generate hundreds of healthy and affordable menus based on the Mediterranean diet, customised to your body’s needs. This makes healthy eating easy, quick and convenient, without sacrificing taste and variety.

Download Dahna today to take the first step to a healthy heart!

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