Heart diseases are one of the most common causes of death in the world among both men and women. There is a strong link between people suffering from diabetes and eventually heart diseases. Having diabetes increases your chances of developing heart ailments than someone who doesn’t have diabetes. However, the good news is that managing your diabetes well can lower your risk of heart diseases. Making a few lifestyle changes will stand you in good stead and will help you manage your diabetes and improve your heart health as well.

What are heart diseases?

The term ‘cardiovascular diseases’ is used to denote all types of heart disease including stroke, heart failure, and blood vessel diseases. Out of these, the most commonly occurring one is coronary artery disease, which affects blood flow to the heart. It is usually caused by the accumulation of plaque in the walls of the coronary arteries, which supply blood and oxygen to the heart. Plaque is nothing but cholesterol deposits that narrow down arteries and decrease blood flow. It is known as hardening of the arteries or atherosclerosis. As a result of decreased blood flow, chances of heart attack increases.

Link between diabetes and heart diseases

Sugar is stored in the liver in the form of glycogen. If you are a diabetic, sugar can be released from the liver and stay in the blood. Increased sugar levels in the blood can damage blood vessels and the nerves that control the heart and blood vessels. With the passage of time, this damage can lead to the development of heart disease. The longer you have diabetes, the more your chances of developing heart diseases. Diabetic people are also likely to have other conditions that aggravate the chances of having heart disorders.

  • High blood pressure (hypertension): Increased blood pressure forces the blood through arteries and damages its walls. So, high blood sugar coupled with high blood pressure increases the chances of having heart diseases.
  • High LDL cholesterol: High levels of LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol in the bloodstream results in plaque formation, which can damage artery walls.
  • High triglycerides: Triglycerides is a type of fat present in the blood. Triglycerides coupled with low HDL or ‘good’ cholesterol or high LDL cholesterol is a contributing factor towards hardening of arteries.

The chances of diabetic people suffering from heart failure is also higher. Heart failure means that the heart is unable to pump blood well. The condition gets worse when there is swelling in the legs and fluid build up in the lungs, making breathing difficult. Early diagnosis of the condition can prevent it from getting worse.

Steps to care for your heart

  1. Manage your ABCs:
    • A- Get your HbA1C test done regularly which gives an average measure of blood sugar over 2 to 3 months. Keeping that within limits is important.
    • B- See to it that your blood pressure does not increase beyond 140/90mm Hg or as advised by your doctor.
    • C- Keeping your cholesterol levels under control is vital for maintaining a healthy heart.
    • S- Quit smoking or don’t get into the habit if you haven’t yet.
  2. Consume a healthy and nutritious diet: Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. Cut down on processed food and trans-fat. Keep yourself hydrated and avoid sugary drinks.
  3. Maintain an ideal weight: This is especially required if you are overweight. Losing weight will also help you lower your triglycerides and sugar levels.
  4. Get active: Following an exercise regime daily will go a long way in lowering blood sugar. Physical activities in some form not only helps you reduce weight but also maintains glucose levels in the blood and lowers the risk of heart ailments.
  5. Stay away from stress: Managing stress levels is important as it has a direct effect on blood pressure.

Why opt for Dr. K G Deshpande Memorial Center?

Dr. K G Deshpande memorial center is a place of repute and has the latest technology to deal with cardiac emergencies. It draws in crowds of people owing to the best medical facilities provided here at affordable cost. It has a team of highly qualified and dedicated doctors who work tirelessly day and night to cater to the medical needs of patients. The center has a state-of-the-art proprietary open-heart surgery center, which makes it a preferred choice of patients. If you have any questions related to your heart health, visit this center to address your medical problems.


  1. Diabetes and Heart Disease. Diabetes UK. https://www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-diabetes/complications/cardiovascular_disease. Accessed on 1 November, 2022.
  2. Diabetes and Heart Disease. John Hopkins Medicine. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/diabetes/diabetes-and-heart-disease. Accessed on 1 November, 2022.
  3. Diabetes, Heart Disease, & Stroke. National Institutes of Health. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/preventing-problems/heart-disease-stroke. Accessed on 1 November, 2022.
  4. Diabetes and Your Heart. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/library/features/diabetes-and-heart.html. Accessed on 1 November, 2022.
Heart Diseases and Diabetes: Understand the close link
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