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HOUSTON – The relationship between diabetes and heart disease should not be ignored, according to an expert at Baylor College of Medicine.
“Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in patients with diabetes, and diabetes is the leading cause of heart disease in America,” said Dr. Alan Garber, professor of medicine in the section of endocrinology at BCM.
To reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, patients with diabetes must maintain an exceptionally low level of LDL cholesterol, the “bad” cholesterol, and a lower target blood pressure.
To do this, they must incorporate a heart healthy diet with their diabetes diet of low calories and sugars. A heart healthy diet includes reducing saturated fats. Medication can also be used to help control diabetes, cholesterol and blood pressure.
“Diet and exercise help, but statin drugs should be used to help control high cholesterol, and medication for high blood pressure should also be taken,” said Garber.
Garber recommends checking with your physician before starting an exercise routine and working closely with the physician to develop a treatment plan.