Health and Family Services Cabinet
This November, make the link between diabetes, heart disease and stroke
The state Department of Public Health in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, is using the month of November, nationally recognized as National Diabetes Month, to educate people with diabetes about their risks and ways to reduce them.
When it comes to diabetes, heart disease and stroke, the statistics that link them are alarming. In Kentucky alone, more than 376,000 people are affected by diabetes.
One of the dangers faced by people with diabetes is heart disease, which strikes them more than twice as often as it strikes those without diabetes. It also hits them earlier in life and more severely.
In fact, it is estimated that two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke.
One way for people with diabetes to reduce their risk for heart disease and stroke is to manage the ABCs of diabetes:
A - Lower A1C, your average glucose (blood sugar) levels over three months, to less than 7.
B - Keep Blood pressure lower than 130/80.
C - Get and keep “bad” Cholesterol (LDL) levels to less than 100.
There are more ways to help effectively manage diabetes. Even small changes can lower the risk of heart-related complications. Here are some suggestions:
- Keep blood glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure numbers as close to normal as possible.
- Get help to quit smoking.
- Aim for at least 30 minutes of activity, such as brisk walking, on most days of the week.
- Eat low-fat meals that are high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
- Ask your health care provider about taking medications to reduce heart attack or stroke.
- Work with your health care provider to determine your treatment options.
To help manage the ABCs of diabetes, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the American College of Cardiology (ACC) have created a free resource called “Choose to Live: Your Diabetes Survival Guide,” which features tools for people with diabetes to track key measures and goals, meal planning tips and practical advice for managing all aspects of diabetes care. For a free copy, call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES or send an e-mail request with your mailing address to AskADA@diabetes.org.
Diabetes-related information also can be obtained by calling the Kentucky Diabetes Prevention and Control Program at (502) 564-7996 or visiting its Web site at http://chfs.ky.gov/dph/ach/diabetes or the National Diabetes Education Program site at (www.ndep.nih.gov).
For more information, contact Linda Leber at the Kentucky Diabetes Prevention and Control Program at (502) 564-7996.