Diabetes and CVD

Diabetics and CVD  

  • Diabetes is an important cause of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and CVD is the leading complication and cause of death among people with diabetes.1, 2 As a result of advances in treatment, diabetics rarely die from high blood sugar — approximately 65-75% of people with diabetes die of some form of CVD.
  • People with diabetes have a higher prevalence of  CVD  risk factors and these are more harmful in the presence of diabetes than in people without diabetes.3 For each CVD risk factor present, the risk of CVD death is about 3 times greater in people with diabetes compared to people without diabetes.3
  • People with diabetes are 2 to 4 times more likely to develop CVD than people without diabetes, independent of other conventional risk factors.4 3
  • Women with diabetes lose the pre-menopausal protective effect of estrogen so that their CVD risk is the same as men.3
  • Strokes happen twice as often in people with diabetes and hypertension compared to people with hypertension alone. 3
  • South Asia accounts for 37% of worldwide diabetes-related CAD deaths and 30% of worldwide stroke deaths. 5
  • Two out of three diabetics are unaware of their excess risk of CVD and its potential complications. Diabetes is also the leading cause of leg amputation worldwide.


1. http://www.idf.org/webdata/Call-to-Action-on-Diabetes.pdf. 2010 November. Accessed January 15,2011.

2. Hadaegh F, Fahimfar N, Khalili D, Sheikholeslami F, Azizi F. New and known type 2 diabetes as coronary heart disease equivalent: results from 7.6 year follow up in a middle east population. Cardiovascular diabetology. 2010;9:84.

3. International Diabetes Federation. Diabetes and CVD Disease: A Time to Act. 2001. Brussels  2001.

4. Sarwar N, Gao P, Seshasai SR, et al. Diabetes mellitus, fasting blood glucose concentration, and risk of vascular disease: a collaborative meta-analysis of 102 prospective studies. Lancet. Jun 26 2010;375(9733):2215-2222.

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