10 Fast facts about heart disease

10 Fast facts about heart disease

Did you know that diabetics are more at risk of developing heart disease? Here are the facts and what you can do about it.

  1. Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics are at risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). CVD includes both heart disease and problems with the circulatory system, including strokes.
  2. What can you do? Get tested! A risk assessment will check your blood pressure, lipids and lipoproteins and see if you need to be concerned.
  3. Quit smoking! If you are a diabetic smoker, your risk of developing CVD doubles.
  4. Other risk factors also play a part: obesity, physical inactivity and a family history of CVD.
  5. Eat a heart-healthy diet. Cut down on saturated fats and avoid trans fats that raise cholesterol. Eat lean meat and choose a low fat diet as much as possible.
  6. If you have any feelings of numbness, confusion, impaired vision, severe headache or difficulty speaking, go to a hospital immediately. This could be signs of a TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack) – a warning sign for a stroke.
  7. Type 2 diabetics are twice as likely to have a heart attack or stroke.
  8. Eat plenty of fibre to help lower cholesterol. Wholegrain breads, cereals, fruit, veggies, oatmeal, beans and pulses are all full of fibre.
  9. Changing your lifestyle can decrease your risk of heart disease (and improve your blood sugar!) Time to get active…
  10. Hypertension is an important risk factor for diabetics and CVD. Your blood pressure should not be over 130/80 – the ideal is 120/80. The secrets to good blood pressure are to drink less alcohol, don’t eat too much salt, keep at a healthy weight, exercise, stop smoking and visit your doctor regularly. You can do it!
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