What Is Diabetes And How Does It Relate To Heart Disease?

Dr. James Stein answers the question: 'Diabetes And Heart Disease Risk?'

ByJames Stein, M.d., Professor Of Medicine and Director, Preventive Cardiology, University Of Wisconsin
December 24, 2008, 1:52 PM

— -- Question: What is diabetes and how does it relate to heart disease?

Answer: There are two kinds of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes predominantly affects children and young adults. It takes several decades before it leads to coronary artery disease.

Type 2 diabetes is responsible for the epidemic of diabetes that we're seeing today. It causes high blood sugar, but it's related to obesity and several risk factors for coronary disease, including hypertension, high cholesterol, and inflammation. People who have type 2 diabetes are at very high risk of having a heart attack or other manifestations of coronary artery disease.

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