November is Diabetes Awareness Month, a time for raising awareness of the disease that Diabetes Canada says has become an epidemic. Too many lives are being lost to heart disease from type 2 diabetes each year. With more knowledge and recent advances in treatment, lives can be saved and these numbers reduced.
Many Canadians are unaware of the heart-related risks that diabetes brings
There’s a troubling knowledge deficit among Canadians with diabetes. The 2018 My Heart Matters survey found while 94 per cent of people with type 2 diabetes think they are knowledgeable about their disease management, approximately one in two don’t know these important facts:
- Diabetes alone significantly increases the risk of heart attack, heart failure and stroke.
- Heart disease is the most common cause of death among adults with type 2 diabetes.
- People with diabetes may develop heart disease 10 to 15 years earlier than people without diabetes.
Controlling blood sugar alone may not be enough
Controlling blood sugar is important in managing diabetes because it can help to delay or prevent some complications of the disease. But if you have type 2 diabetes and a history of heart disease, controlling your blood sugar alone may not be enough to protect your heart.
Medications can help lower your heart risks
Many Canadians believe there are no diabetes medications that control blood sugar levels and heart disease. Used along with diet and exercise, there are diabetes medications that have been proven to lower the risk of death from problems related to your heart and blood vessels. These treatments are moving to the forefront of diabetes management.
Talk to your doctor and find out your risk
When it comes to the number of Canadian lives taken by heart disease due to type 2 diabetes, even one is too many. The good news is that the sooner you understand the health risks associated with type 2 diabetes, the sooner you can do something about it. Knowledge of the connection between diabetes and heart disease can be life-saving.
Use the Risk Assessment Tool at myheartmatters.ca to find out your risk of type 2 diabetes-related heart disease and speak with your doctor about how to manage your risk.
Visit myheartmatters.ca to learn more.