Can diabetes cause a stroke or heart attack?


Find Diabetes Clinics »

Diabetes increases your risk of having a stroke or a heart attack because it tends to increase your blood pressure. The increase in blood pressure is caused by the high levels of glucose in your blood that cause fatty material to be deposited inside your blood vessels. These deposits reduce the size of the interior of your blood vessels and therefore increase the resistance of your blood vessels to the flow of your blood. These deposits also increase the risk that the blood vessel will block completely or that your blood vessels will become hardened.  These fatty deposits can allow blood clots to form which may then travel throughout your blood system. If a blood clot gets stuck within one of the blood vessels of your brain then it could cut-off the oxygen supply to that part of your brain causing your to have a stroke. In a similar way, if a blood clot gets stuck within one of the blood vessels of your heart this it could cut-off the oxygen supply to that part of your heart causing you to have a heart attack. The best way for you to reduce your risk of having a stroke or heart attack is to keep a tight control on your blood glucose level, aim to reduce your intake of cholesterol and saturated fats and eat a healthy, balanced diet. Increasing your levels of exercise will also both increase your metabolism to help you to keep your body weight within a normal BMI and also maintain the health of your heart and blood system.


« Can diabetes cause eye problems? What is the difference between type one and type 2 diabetes? »