Diabetes and heart disease threat not on our radar

Having diabetes puts you at greater risk of coronary heart disease, but research by the Heart Foundation, shows us the link is not widely known.

Heart disease, including coronary heart disease, is a major cause of death among people with diabetes. People with diabetes can be up to four times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke than people who do not have diabetes.

Despite these worrying statistics, the Heart Foundation study found just 2% of people surveyed nominated diabetes as a risk factor for heart disease.

The Heart Foundation was keen to highlight that uncontrolled diabetes puts people in the danger zone for developing heart disease and noted that Australians could not afford to underestimate the impact the condition can have on their heart health.

When it comes to heart disease, people are more likely to focus on lifestyle risk factors, such as diet and exercise, rather than clinical risk factors and it’s important that people remember that conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure are on our radar.

There are currently 1.3 million living with diabetes and more than 150,000 Australians are living with both diabetes and coronary heart disease.

People with diabetes – particularly type 2 diabetes – are at higher risk of heart attack or stroke because they are also more likely to have other risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and being overweight or obese.

To understand if you’re at risk from diabetes or heart disease ask your doctor for a test at your next appointment. This is recommended for anyone over the age of 40, or if you’re of Aboriginal or Torres Island descent if you are 30 years of age.

Join our community of over 33,000 people living with diabetes