Articles, Blog

Diabetes & Your Heart

September 21, 2019

(Music) Announcer: Welcome to Your Health with Joan Lunden presented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Joan Lunden: Hi, I’m Joan Lunden. Right now, 86 million American adults have pre-diabetes and 90% of them don’t even know it. And, if left untreated, pre-diabetes can lead to type 2 diabetes as well as serious heart problems. We are joined by Doctor Ann Albright, Director of the CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation to discuss the effects of diabetes on your heart. Ann, it’s so great to have you here. Ann Albright: Thanks Joan Lunden: What is the actual correlation here? What’s the connection between diabetes and heart disease? Ann Albright: Well high blood sugar, high blood pressure and high cholesterol can all damage the blood vessels in your heart and in your brain. And, people with diabetes are twice as likely to have heart disease and stroke. Joan Lunden: All right so then, let’s talk about both of those. Let’s start with stroke. Talk about the serious implications of having a stroke. Ann Albright: Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the country. And, oftentimes people think, “well, if I have a stroke, I’m going to die.” But, really the majority of people survive a stroke and they can live with life-altering challenges after that stroke, so really managing your diabetes well, paying attention can help reduce your risk of stroke. Joan Lunden: And if you have diabetes, how much more likely are you to develop heart disease? Ann Albright: Two to four times more likely to have a heart attack or die from heart disease actually than those without diabetes. And, ‘course we know now that heart disease is the number one cause of death in the country. Ann Albright: I mean, these have gotta make people sit up and take notice. So, what can we do to try to cut the risk of these serious, serious diseases? Ann Albright: Yeah, good news there. Joan Lunden: Okay. Ann Albright: There are things you can do. Eating more healthy, getting more physical activity, making sure you’re getting that blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol checked, and taking those medications to keep those under control. Joan Lunden: Really being vigilant. Ann Albright: That’s it. Joan Lunden: Alright Ann, thank you. If you have diabetes, check with your doctor to make sure that you are taking all the proper precautions so that you can avoid risks to your heart, and visit I’m Joan Lunden. Announcer: Sponsored by NACDD, with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Visit

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