GET TO THE HEART OF IT: Managing Blood Pressure, Cholesterol and Diabetes

People with diabetes have an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, and poor circulation in blood vessels of the lower legs and feet.

Other factors can make the risk for a person with diabetes even higher. They include:

  • smoking
  • having high cholesterol
  • having high blood pressure
  • have a family history of heart disease
  • being overweight or inactive
  • living with a lot of stress

You can protect your heart and circulation with good control of your diabetes, blood pressure, and cholesterol.

What causes a heart attack or stroke?

Our blood vessels bring oxygen and nutrients to the heart and brain. When a vessel becomes completely blocked, tissue starts to die from lack of oxygen and nutrients from the blood. A heart attack or stroke occurs.

A blood vessel that is only partly blocked can lead to chest pain (angina) around the heart. Or, it can cause a ‘mini-stroke’ in the brain. Over time, these partly blocked blood vessels can become completely blocked. Poor circulation in the small blood vessels also causes other complications of diabetes, such as eye, nerve, and kidney disease.