Diabetes is characterized by an elevated blood glucose level (fasting glucose > 7mmol/l, 11.1 mmol/l after a meal). A high blood glucose level damages artery walls. As a consequence, people with diabetes have a 2 to 4 times increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Over the long term, diabetes can lead to complications in the brain, heart, eyes, kidneys and nerves. People with diabetes also have a tendency to develop high blood pressure and problems with cholesterol levels, all of which further increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Diabetes is considered a major risk factor. If you have diabetes, good control of blood sugar levels can decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Here are five key points for good diabetes management:
- Follow dietary recommendations for diabetics;
- Maintain physical activity;
- Keep a healthy weight: calculate your BMI
- Manage your stress levels;
- Take your medication;
- Control your blood glucose levels (glycated or a1c haemoglobin<6.5%).
If there is diabetes in your family, if you are overweight or if you don’t do daily physical activity, you may develop diabetes.
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