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Heart Disease and Diabetes in Women

Heart Disease and Diabetes in Women

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Your body gets most of its energy from glucose, a form of sugar that comes from some of the food you eat. If you have diabetes, it’s harder for your body to turn food into energy. That’s because the body either:

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cannot produce enough insulin (a hormone produced by the pancreas),

or both.

cannot use insulin (also called insulin resistance),

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Without enough insulin, glucose can’t enter the cells. Over time, the amount of glucose in your blood rises and cells are starved of energy. In addition to heart attack and stroke, uncontrolled diabetes can eventually lead to other health problems as well, such as blindness, kidney failure, and amputations.

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Heart disease & diabetes often occur together. Whether you have heart disease or are at high risk of it, get your blood glucose (sugar) level checked regularly, especially if diabetes runs in your family.

Diabetes

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  • 10.6 million women have diabetes (8 percent of all women ages 20 years and older)
  • 3 million women who have diabetes are undiagnosed.
  • 34.4 million women have pre-diabetes.
  • 14.6% of African-American women have diabetes.
  • 11.8% of Hispanic-American women have diabetes.
  • Prevalence for diabetes African American women is two times higher than in Caucasian women (14.6% of African-American women have diabetes while 6.1% of Caucasian women have diabetes)
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Heart Disease

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  • 43.8 million women are currently living with some form of cardiovascular disease. Nearly 7 million women have a history of heart attack and/or angina.
  • 6.6 million women are currently living with coronary heart disease (CHD).
  • Heart disease is the leading cause of death of American women and is responsible for 1 in 3 deaths in women annually.
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  • Diabetes dramatically increases a woman’s chances of developing heart disease and having a heart attack and at much younger ages.
  • Diabetes erases the heart protective benefits of estrogen during child-bearing years.
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Women with diabetes are up to five times more likely to develop heart disease than women who don’t have diabetes. Women with diabetes who have survived a heart attack are at much greater risk of having a second one compared to women without diabetes. Diabetes contributes to heart-related deaths.

Two out of three women with diabetes die from heart disease.

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While the death rate from heart disease has dropped by 27 percent in women without diabetes, deaths from heart and blood vessel disease in women with diabetes have increased by 23 percent over the last 30 years.

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Smoking doubles the risk for heart disease in people with diabetes.

2 out of 3 adults with diabetes report also having high blood pressure or taking prescription medications to lower their blood pressure.

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  • Women with diabetes are 2.5 times more likely to have heart attacks.
  • The risk for stroke is 1.5 times higher among people with diabetes.
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2 out of 3 adults with diabetes report also having high blood pressure or taking prescription medications

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Know Your (Diabetes) ABCs

Your health care team will focus on controlling your blood sugar levels and lowering blood pressure and blood cholesterol, together with use of aspirin and other medications as indicated.

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A

stands for A1C (a test that shows average blood glucose level over the past three months). Have this checked at least twice a year.

A1C target Below 7 percent

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B

is for blood pressure. High blood pressure is serious and can make your heart work too hard.
Blood pressure target Below 130/80 mm Hg

C

is for cholesterol (lipids). Have it checked at least once a year.

Blood fat (cholesterol) targets LDL (bad) cholesterol Under 100 mg/dL Triglycerides Under 150 mg/dL HDL (good) cholesterol For men: above 40 mg/dL For women: above 50 mg/dL

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