The most common cause of heart disease in a person with diabetes is hardening of the coronary arteries or atherosclerosis, which is a buildup of cholesterol in the blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrition to the heart.
This build up of cholesterol usually begins before the increase in blood sugars that occurs in type 2 diabetes. In other words, heart disease almost always has established itself prior to the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.
When the cholesterol plaques can break apart or rupture, it causes blood clots and blocks the blood vessel. This can lead to a heart attack. The same process can happen in all of the arteries in the body, resulting in lack of blood to the brain, causing a stroke or lack of blood to the feet, hands, or arms causing peripheral vascular disease.
Not only are people with diabetes at higher risk for heart disease, they're also at higher risk for heart failure, a serious medical condition in which the heart is unable to pump blood adequately. This can lead to fluid build-up in the lungs that causes difficulty breathing, or fluid retention in other parts of the body (especially the legs) that causes swelling.
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Archived: March 20, 2014
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Read the Original Article: Heart Disease and Diabetes