How can diabetes damage the heart?
Heart and blood vessel damage will affect each one of us as we get older, but these damages occur more frequently and much earlier in people with diabetes. How does the damage happen? The possible reasons are:
* Blood-fat levels tend to be high when blood sugar levels are high. High levels of certain fats, specially total cholesterol, LDL (bad cholesterol), and triglycerides increase the risk of blood vessel damage and heart attack. * Hyperglycemia, which characterises diabetes, in combination with free fatty acids in the blood can damage the internal linning of blood vessels. The lining of the blood vessels becomes thicker and diseased, and this in turn impairs blood flow, eventually leading to cardiovascular disease. * High blood pressure, which is more common in people with diabetes than in the normal population, also increases the chance for developing both heart disease and stroke.
Consequences of arterial wall damage: * A diabetic person is twice as likely to have a heart attack or stroke. * Women with diabetes have an increased risk of heart disease at a younger age. * Diabetics who have already had one heart attack run an even greater risk of having a second one.
* In addition, heart attacks in people with diabetes are more serious and more likely to result in death. Times of India