7 Heart Disease Factors You Can Control

People with diabetes are about twice as likely to experience heart disease as those without the condition, making cardiovascular health a critical aspect of diabetes care. While patients can't control some of the risk factors for heart disease, like age or family history, there are seven factors you can control, according to the American Heart Association.

Through behavioral changes, lifestyle adjustments, and medication, patients can take charge of their health in the following seven areas:

1. Blood pressure

While certain medications can help you control your blood pressure, losing weight, getting enough exercise and managing stress will all help lower blood pressure and reduce your risk for cardiovascular events.

2. Cholesterol

High cholesterol is common in people who eat a standard American diet, but for diabetics, imbalanced cholesterol can be a deadly condition. Get your cholesterol levels checked, lose weight and eat a healthy diet to lower your risk for heart disease. You may need medication to bring your cholesterol levels into a healthy range.

3. Diabetes

Having diabetes in and of itself can cause heart disease. If your diabetes is well-managed through diet, exercise and insulin control, you are less likely to develop plaque build-up in your arteries or heart disease.

4. Smoking

Smoking is directly linked to heart disease. Quitting, however, can lead to improved survival rates and up to a 36-percent reduction in death in patients who have heart disease (which is a greater reduction than any other intervention).

5. Exercise

Regular exercise helps reduce risk for heart disease in a number of ways: it lowers blood pressure, improves "good" cholesterol and regulates blood sugar in people who have diabetes. As little as 30 minutes of activity five days a week can reduce your risk for heart disease.

6. Weight

For every two pounds a person is over his or her healthy body weight, there is a three-percent increase in heart attacks. Losing weight can be challenging, but it is important for long-term heart health.

7. Diet

Whether it's eating smaller portion sizes, giving up fast food, or reducing sugar consumption, nearly everyone can eat "cleaner" in some way. Heart-disease culprits are saturated fat, sodium, sugar and alcohol.

Source: Life Bridge
Photo: Pexels

Get a Free Diabetes Meal Plan

Get a free 7-Day Diabetes Meal Plan from Constance Brown-Riggs who is a Registered Dietitian-Certified Diabetes Educator and who is also a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Just enter in your email below to download your free Diabetes Meal Plan.

By clicking Submit, you agree to send your info to InformationAboutDiabetes.com who may contact you with updates and information and we agree to use it according to our privacy policy.

More Articles

Limiting our intake of highly processed foods, and eating more whole and lightly processed fare can boost our nutrient and fiber intake, lower...

Chamomile tea has long been prized for its calming properties, but few people realize it’s also beneficial for glucose regulation. Traditionally,...

Today, the healing benefits of essential oils are more than the claims of ancient tradition and alternative medicine. They are increasingly the...

The different sugar content of fruits can be confusing when you are trying to manage your...

There is nothing close to a one-size-fits-all exercise program for those with diabetic peripheral neuropathy. The best general advice is to...

More Articles

Chamomile tea has long been prized for its calming properties, but few people realize it’s also beneficial for glucose regulation. Traditionally,...

There is nothing close to a one-size-fits-all exercise program for those with diabetic peripheral neuropathy. The best general advice is to...

Limiting our intake of highly processed foods, and eating more whole and lightly processed fare can boost our nutrient and fiber intake, lower...

”Metabolic memory” (less commonly known as ”hyperglycemic memory” or “legacy effect”) refers to the lingering effects of a long period of either...

With such a marked increase in the number of new diabetes cases, more people are wondering if type 1 diabetes...

The American Diabetes Association estimates that more than 7 million people in the United States have diabetes but don’t know it yet. These people...

Do not let pictures of yoga experts with their bodies twisted into bizarre, compact shapes fool you. Even people with stiff muscles, creaky joints...

While some celebrities aren't quick to talk about living with diabetes, others are quite transparent and inspiring - acting as advocates for the...

Pilates is an exercise method proven to improve flexibility, strength, coordination, muscular stamina, balance, and posture. Many Pilates...

All diabetics know that maintaining proper blood sugar levels is the lifeline...

It can be difficult enough to get on stage and make a roomful of strangers laugh, but for comedians suffering from type 1 or type 2 diabetes,...

Most people with insulin-dependent diabetes use syringes and lancets every day. However, many of them do not know how to dispose of these...

People with type 1 and type 2 diabetes have successfully competed in the Olympic Games. Their amazing stories prove that diabetes is no match for...

Explaining diabetes to children can seem like a daunting task, but in reality, it is no more difficult than discussing anything else important....

Diabetes is a complex disease, affecting virtually every part of the body. The damage it does, to nerve endings, blood vessels, organs, and the...