People with diabetes are at increased risk of heart disease. This can be because of various reasons: uncontrolled blood glucose levels, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, overweight, lack of physical exercise and smoking. In addition, some ethnic groups like Asian Indians are at higher risk compared to other populations. High blood pressure and high blood glucose make the blood vessel walls thick and less elastic.
The risk factors lead to increased injury and inflammation of the vessel wall, deposition of cholesterol and formation of plaques, and calcification. As these blood vessels become narrow, blood flow tends to slow down and form clots. These clots may get dislodged and block other blood vessels. Depending on the blocked blood vessels, it may be heart attack, stroke, blindness, or a block in the blood vessels of the lower limb leading to amputation. Managing these risk factors and controlling them to target has been found to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Dr. Mathew John