Two of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke. Both women and men are at risk, says LSU AgCenter nutritionist Dr. Beth Reames.
During November, American Diabetes Month, Reames wants to help raise awareness that people with diabetes are at high risk for coronary artery (heart) disease, heart attack or a stroke. Their heart attacks tend to be more serious and can happen early in life.
The American Diabetes Association and the American College of Cardiology are working together to increase awareness of the link between diabetes and heart disease. Through an initiative called "Make the Link! Diabetes, Heart Disease and Stroke," the organizations are urging people with diabetes to learn how they can lower their chances for heart disease and stroke.
Reames explains that coronary artery disease is the most common form of heart disease and is caused by a narrowing or blocking of the blood vessels that go to the heart. The blood carries oxygen and other needed materials to the heart. Blood vessels to the heart can become partially or totally blocked by fatty deposits. A heart attack occurs when the blood supply to the heart is reduced or cut off.
Besides controlling blood glucose levels, diabetes management also includes managing blood pressure and cholesterol, according to Reames. People with diabetes should talk to their health care providers to learn about other ways to reduce their chances for heart attacks and stroke.
The nutritionist says lifestyle changes, such as choosing foods wisely and being physically active, as well as taking medication, can help. Losing weight also can help prevent heart disease.
The LSU AgCenter’s Diabetes Education Awareness Recommendation Program and Portions Healthy Weight Program provide information on healthful eating, physical activity recommendations and lifestyle habits. For information about these programs or about eating healthfully using the Food Guide Pyramid, visit the Family and Consumer Science Web site at lsuagcenter.com/Inst/
Extension/Departments/fcs/. For local information and educational programs, contact an extension agent in your parish LSU AgCenter office.
On the Internet: LSU AgCenter: www.lsuagcenter.com/Inst/
On the Internet: Make the Link! www.diabetes.org/heart-disease-stroke.jsp
Source: Beth Reames (225) 578-3929, or firstname.lastname@example.org
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture