Editor's Note: The following is a news release issued by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.
November is national diabetes month and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association warns that people living with Type 2 diabetes are at an increased risk for cardiovascular diseases, such as stroke or heart attack. The leading cause of death among people with diabetes is cardiovascular disease.
In fact, the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association created The Heart of Diabetes campaign to raise awareness of the connection between Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
The program encourages patients living with Type 2 to get regular physical activity, eat healthy foods, and work with a healthcare provider to develop a treatment plan. By reaching these goals, people can better manage their Type 2 diabetes and reduce or delay associated risks, including heart attack or stroke.
And if you are a stroke survivor, you already have a form of cardiovascular disease that affects the blood vessels of the brain. A stroke survivor with diabetes should take extra precautions when caring for themselves including:
- Be careful of potential drug interactions. It's important to bring all medications to every doctor visit so that any potential interactions can be monitored.
- Lifestyle changes that are necessary including diet and exercise. The recommended eating patterns for type 2 diabetes patients are also good for improving cholesterol and blood pressure.
- Stay positive. A stroke survivor may have physical limitations making the ability to exercise compromised. Pay special attention to calories in and calories burned so that realistic expectations can be set around weight loss goals.
During National Diabetes month and throughout the year, the AHA/ASA is urging all those afflicted with diabetes to take the My Diabetes Health Assessment to learn their personal risk of having a stroke or heart attack in the next ten years.
Founded in 1924, the American Heart Association is the nation's oldest and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to building healthier lives, free of heart disease and stroke. To help prevent, treat and defeat these diseases - America's No. 1 and No. 4 killers - the association funds cutting-edge research, conducts lifesaving public and professional educational programs, and advocates to protect public health. To learn more or join us in helping all Americans, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit heart.org.