Harvard Heart Letter

Ask the doctor: Why does diabetes raise heart disease risk?

Q. I just got diagnosed with diabetes and my doctor said I am at risk for heart disease. Why?

A. Diabetes is considered to be an extremely strong risk factor for heart disease. One reason is that people with diabetes are also more likely to have other conditions that raise their odds of heart disease, such as obesity, high blood pressure, or elevated LDL cholesterol. Also, those factors seem to have more of a detrimental effect on people who have diabetes compared with those who don't.

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