Taking Diabetes to Heart
Did you know that adults with type 2 diabetes have an increased risk of heart disease and stroke compared to adults without diabetes? In fact, adults with type 2 diabetes are 2 to 4 times more likely to die from heart disease than adults without diabetes. In addition, the risk of stroke is 2 to 4 times higher in adults with diabetes compared to adults without diabetes.
Knowing your blood sugar levels may not be enough. Checking your blood pressure and cholesterol regularly is also important for managing the serious health risks associated with type 2 diabetes.
Help Lower Your Risk: Set Goals for Your ABCs
To help reduce the risk of heart disease and other complications of type 2 diabetes, talk to your doctor about making important lifestyle changes and setting goals for your ABCs that are right for you:
A is for A1C, or Blood Sugar:
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends an A1C goal of less than 7% for many adults with type 2 diabetes. Be sure that you talk to your doctor and know your A1C goal, because a goal of less than 7% is not right for everyone.
B is for Blood Pressure:
Have your blood pressure checked regularly. The ADA recommends a blood pressure goal of 130/80 mmHg for most patients with diabetes. Your doctor will determine the goal that is right for you.
C is for Cholesterol:
Your blood cholesterol levels should be checked at least once a year by a health care provider. Talk to your doctor about the cholesterol goals that are right for you.
Download this resource and ask your doctor what target numbers are right for your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol.
Talk to Your Doctor About Treatment Options That Are Right for You
If you haven't done so already, talk with your doctor about medications that you may need. If you're already taking medications to help manage your ABCs, make sure you are taking them as prescribed, and, if you are thinking about stopping, talk to your doctor – even if you feel well.
Diabetes guidelines underscore the importance of managing cholesterol to help reduce the risk of heart disease or stroke and recommend that cholesterol-lowering treatments be given to appropriate patients with type 2 diabetes.