How can I manage my diabetes to prevent the risk of heart diseases?

Hoyee Chan, MD
Internal Medicine

To manage diabetes to prevent the risk of heart disease:

  1. Advise low fat, low cholesterol and low carbohydrates diet, and regular aerobic exercise, about 30-45 mins 4-5x/week.
  2. Maintain Hgb A1c (the blood tests for average blood sugar for past 3 months) at least less than 7.0.
  3. Maintain Bad cholesterol (LDL) <70, Good cholesterol (HDL) >40, Triglycerides <150.
  4. Take a baby aspirin daily if there is no contraindications.

Discuss with your doctors how to achieve the above goals.


Gerald Bernstein, MD
Endocrinology Diabetes & Metabolism
There are 2 considerations in preventing heart disease in diabetes. First is early detection, especially Prediabetes, which has cardiac risk even before clinical diabetes begins. Second, once the blood glucose is above normal it behaves as a toxic agent, just like lead. Among its effects is to alter the functions of nerves, muscles, small blood vessels and the cholesterol cascade. Secondarily the large vessels like the ones serving the brain, legs and heart become clogged with abnormal lipids resulting in heart attacks and strokes. Just like a seat belt you can reduce your risk for all of this by controlling your blood glucose, lipids and blood pressure and maintain an A1c hemoglobin in the desired range(usually less than 7).
I can manage my diabetes to prevent the risk of heart disease by exercising and controlling my diet. As I lose weight and control my blood sugars, my hemoglobin A1c, which is a measure of my sugars over a three-month average, will improve. As I protect my body by using the medications doctors will give for high blood pressure, hyper cholesterol, and kidney protection and for controlling of the diabetes, we can slow down the progression of the atherosclerosis or damage to our heart vessels as well as to our brain, kidneys and legs. This will allow us to continue to exercise and will give us a better chance to control our sugars. Well-controlled diabetics in today's time do incredibly well and can prevent heart attacks for years to come by paying attention to their diabetes and being disciplined in their exercise and diet.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.