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Preventing Cardiovascular Disease: diabetes control

If you have diabetes, keeping your blood sugar (glucose) levels well controlled, within normal range, the risk of developing cardiovascular disease is reduced

Diabetes is a common condition. In Ireland, it is estimated that there are 200,000 people with diabetes, with many more unaware that they have the condition. 

Diabetes mellitus, or just diabetes as it is more commonly known, occurs when the sugar (glucose) level in the blood is too high. This happens because the pancreas is not producing any or enough insulin, or the insulin produced is not working properly.  Insulin is the hormone that allows sugar (glucose) to enter the body’s cells, where it is used as a fuel for energy.

Having diabetes can increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, including heart disease, stroke and poor circulation. 

Adults with diabetes are two to four times more likely to have heart disease or suffer a stroke than people without diabetes. People with type 2 diabetes also have high rates of high blood pressure, lipid problems and obesity which can contribute to the high rates of cardiovascular disease. 

Remember to have your diabetes control reviewed regularly by your GP or diabetes team, even if you feel well. 

Regular follow-up can avoid damage to the body caused by poorly controlled diabetes.