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Heart disease is the number one killer of all Americans, and it plays a role in the deaths of nearly 80 percent of people who have diabetes.
“Angina pectoris” is a medical term for chest pain that is the result of insufficient oxygencarrying blood supply to the heart muscle (myocardial ischemia).
If the heart is deprived of oxygen for an extended period of time, the heart muscles become severely damaged. This condition is known as a heart attack, or myocardial infarction. The lack of blood to the heart is usually caused by a blockage in one of the coronary arteries, which direct blood to the heart.
Silence Isn’t Always Golden
The major cardiovascular problem in people with diabetes is “silent” ischemia, which means that they don’t have the warning signs of chest pain when their heart is being damaged by lack of blood flow.
If you don’t have chest pain, then you don’t go to the emergency room to seek help, and you will miss that important window of opportunity to get aggressive therapy before your heart muscles are damaged.
A life-saving “clot buster” medication that unclogs the heart arteries is now available, but it must be given within four hours of the start of the blockage. If given in time, this medication and other life-saving therapies can make a huge difference on the longterm overall health of your heart.
Know the Warning Signs of Heart Trouble
The classic symptoms of lack of blood supply to the heart (myocardial ischemia) are:
Other symptoms may be vague and nondescript, such as unusual fatigue. This is especially true for women with diabetes.
Six Ways to Avoid Heart Disease
To be proactive about preventing heart disease, you should
Diabetes Health is the essential resource for people living with diabetes- both newly diagnosed and experienced as well as the professionals who care for them. We provide balanced expert news and information on living healthfully with diabetes. Each issue includes cutting-edge editorial coverage of new products, research, treatment options, and meaningful lifestyle issues.