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Special Report: How to Save Your Heart, Hope Warshaw, Diabetic Living, Summer 2006.

Updated: 8/14/21 11:00 amPublished: 12/31/06

 We love articles with information that you can apply to your own life. In this article, you receive guidance on how to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, the number one cause of death in people with diabetes. As Dr. Francine Kaufman of Children's Hospital of Los Angeles says, "When you have diabetes, your risk of a heart attack is as high as it is for a person without diabetes who's had a heart attack." Near normal glucose levels can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. In addition to what might be termed obvious tips - 1) slim down; 2) eat smart; 3) get moving; and 4) take your medication - other more actionable advice from Warshaw includes testing blood lipids once a year, possibly taking a daily low-dose aspirin (75 to 162 mg), choosing unsaturated over saturated or trans fats, and knowing the signs of heart attack or stroke. From a patient perspective, we found her ABC Goals most compelling: A1c (under 6.5% or 7%, depending on which organization you ask), blood pressure (under 130/80 mmHg), and blood cholesterol (LDL under 100 mg/dL, HDL above 40 mg/dL for men and 50 mg/ dL for women, triglycerides under 150 mg/L). If you know your goals and your test results, you can be sure that your glucose and lipids are at healthy levels.

The bottom line: People with diabetes often worry more about microvascular complications, but heart disease is a real threat. With specific tips on how to live a healthier lifestyle, this article would benefit anyone, but its especially important for people with diabetes who are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease.

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