How can di­a­betes dam­age the heart?

Fiji Sun - - Sun Spectrum - Jy­otip@fi­jisun.com.fj

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

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