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Heart Health

Better blood sugar tracking: A benefit for heart health?

October 1, 2021

Continuous glucose monitors may help people better manage diabetes, a leading contributor to heart disease.

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The high blood sugar levels that characterize diabetes — which affects about one in 10 American adults — are bad news for blood vessels. Elevated blood sugar can damage artery walls, making them more likely to narrow and stiffen; it also makes the blood stickier and more likely to clot. Having diabetes more than doubles your risk of heart disease.

Checking blood sugar has long required people to prick their finger and squeeze out a drop of blood. But growing numbers of people with diabetes are now using continuous glucose monitors (CGMs), which are small devices placed on your arm or belly with sensors inserted just under the skin. The devices measure a proxy for blood sugar every few minutes and transmit the readings to your smartphone or a portable monitor.

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