The Not So Sweet Truth

About Diabetes.

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Diabetes also puts you at-risk for heart disease.That's the not so sweet truth. Those of us who have diabetes are also more susceptible to contracting the leading killer of African Americans --- cardiovascular disease (also referred to in short as CVD).

Thanks to public health awareness campaigns, African Americans are aware that we have a high-risk to incur diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), diabetes is the 5th largest killer of African Americans.

Connections Between Diabetes and Heart Disease

Make an appointment with your doctor to test your hemoglobin, blood pressure and cholesterol now that you know the truth.

Studies have shown that 75% of people with diabetes die from heart disease or strokes --- which are all CVD-related. Heart attacks are the number one killer of African Americans, and strokes are our third leading cause of death.

Adults with diabetes are 2 to 4 times more likely to contract heart disease or suffer a stroke in comparison to people who do not have diabetes.

What is also alarming is that the likelihood of experiencing a heart attack can happen at an earlier age. Over the past 30 years, heart attacks among women with diabetes have increased 23 percent. But get this --- heart attacks among women who do not have diabetes decreased by 27 percent over this same 30-year period.

Your doctor should monitor three important health factors. First is your hemoglobin count, known as a Hemoglobin A1c test. The ideal level is less than 7 percent. Second is your blood pressure. The goal is to have a reading of 130/80. Third is your cholesterol. The goal, in this area is to have what is called an LDL cholesterol level of less than 100.

If you have a family history of diabetes, and if you smoke, or your are overweight --- make it a point to discuss and plan a heath maintenance strategy with your primary physician.

If you smoke --- STOP. Smoking doubles the risk for CVD in people with diabetes.

Three Important Tests to Get – Now that You Know the Truth!

Make an appointment with your doctor to test your:

  • Hemoglobin
  • Blood Pressure
  • Cholesterol