Does diabetes intensify the chances of heart disease in younger women?
As per recent research, women having any type of diabetes (type 1, type 2, or gestational) are at intensified risk of suffering from coronary heart disease at a younger age. This can be a serious health risk for women. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that cardiovascular diseases have led to more than 52% of all deaths in women across the world.
The risk factors for heart disease in women
A study published in the journal JAMA Cardiology on 20th January 2021 was conducted on over 28,000 women of age 45 years and above, with no record of any cardiovascular disease. The scientists split the participants into four sections, based on the ages:
- Below the age 55 years
- Between the ages 55 and 64 years,
- Between the ages 65 and 74 years
- 75 years or above
Heart disease in women is ten times likely to develop if they are diabetic
The findings of the study exhibited that:
- Diabetic women regardless of their age had the highest aHR for CHD.
- Women younger than 55 years of age had 10.71 aHR for CHD, while those older than 75 years of age had 3.47 aHR for CHD.
- The reason could be that these women indicated the utmost number of risk factors related to CHD, which comprise metabolic syndrome (high blood sugar and cholesterol), high blood pressure, obesity, and smoking.
- Women younger than 55 years of age also indicated high LPIR levels, which raises the aHR for CHD to 6.40, making them more likely to develop CHD.
- High levels of LDL in women younger than 55 years of age heightened the chance of heart disease by 40%, whereas obesity, smoking and high blood pressure increased the chance of coronary disease by four times.
With this study, scientists deduced that heart disease in women younger than 55 years of age, diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, are ten times more likely to develop within the next twenty years of their lives.
Take care of your heart as well as manage diabetes
Certain lifestyle changes can help reduce your risk for heart disease or resist it from getting worse, as well as help you regulate diabetes:
- Do follow a healthy diet: Consume more fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. Avoid processed foods and trans fat. Drink more water, limited sugary drinks, and less alcohol.
- Maintain a healthy weight: If you’re overweight, shedding off even a 5% to 7% amount of weight can lessen your triglycerides and blood sugar.
- Be active: Being physically active makes your body more susceptible to insulin, which helps regulate your diabetes. Physical activity also helps manage blood sugar levels and reduces your risk of heart disease. Do at least 150 minutes/week of moderate-intensity physical activities.
- Monitor your ABCs:
- Get an A1C test to measure your average blood sugar over two to three months; make it a goal to be in your target range.
- Try to maintain your blood pressure below 140/90 mm Hg (or the target your doctor tells you).
- Manage your cholesterol levels.
- Manage stress: Stress can increase your blood pressure and can also result in unhealthy habits, such as excessive alcohol consumption or overeating. Rather, visit a mental health expert, try meditation or deep breathing, engage in some physical activity, or get support from friends and family.
Your doctor may also prescribe medications that can help maintain your blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides near to your target levels.
Having a nutritious diet, exercising regularly to retain a healthy weight, refraining from unhealthy habits such as smoking and consuming alcohol, and monitoring blood sugar levels regularly can help to manage diabetes effectively while maintaining the health of the heart.
Consult a cardiologist if you have any problems or queries about heart health. Also, for any questions or concerns on diabetes, you can consult a diabetologist or an endocrinologist.