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"I was surprised to learn that even when my blood sugar is under control, my CV risk is still very real."

I figured if I hit my A1C goal, I was golden, but my doctor helped me see that I’m still at risk. People with diabetes have a higher risk of heart attack and stroke, but there can be signs and symptoms you can watch out for. Tell your friends and family what they are. If they show up, don’t be tough. Get help right away. Sometimes taking risks is cool, but when it comes to your heart, don’t take any chances.

Anthony Anderson is a paid spokesperson for Novo Nordisk, Inc.

High blood sugar = higher CV risk

Over time, high blood sugar caused by type 2 diabetes can cause damage to your blood vessels and the nerves that control your heart and blood vessels. In addition, people with diabetes often have other diseases like high blood pressure and high cholesterol that can impact your CV risk.

Heart attack and stroke

  • People with type 2 diabetes who reach their A1C goal are still at risk for heart attack and stroke
  • When you have type 2 diabetes, your risk of cardiovascular disease is 2-4x greater compared with someone without diabetes
  • A significant percentage of heart attacks in people with diabetes are clinically "silent" (no symptoms)


  • About 70% of deaths in people with type 2 diabetes are caused by cardiovascular disease, making it the leading cause of death in people with type 2 diabetes
  • People with type 2 diabetes have a 2-6x greater risk of dying from heart attack or stroke compared with people without diabetes

Diabetic heart disease

Diabetic heart disease is heart disease that develops in people with diabetes. Heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease, refers to conditions that involve narrowed or blocked blood vessels that can cause a heart attack or a stroke.

The longer you have type 2 diabetes, the greater your risk for developing heart disease. Talk to your health care provider about your risk, and know the signs of a heart attack or stroke so you can get medical help right away if you have any symptoms.

Heart attack symptoms

  • Pressure or tightness in your chest or arms
  • Pain, aches, or a squeezing sensation in your chest or arms
  • Nausea, indigestion, or heartburn
  • Stomach pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold sweat
  • Fatigue
  • Lightheadedness or sudden dizziness

A silent heart attack is one that has few or no symptoms.

Stroke symptoms

Strokes occur when part of your brain goes without blood for too long, and may include the following symptoms:

  • Sudden weakness or droopiness of the face
  • Sudden issues with your vision
  • Sudden weakness or numbness in the arms
  • Difficulty speaking with slurring

If you experience any of these signs and symptoms, seek medical attention right away.

Learn about why blood sugar control is so important

Anthony Anderson's diabetes story

Diabetes is diabetes, even if you’re a celebrity. Hear how Anthony got real about healthy eating, being active, and taking his medicine as discussed with his doctor.

Start your own story

Are you ready to put what you’ve learned into practice? Register for Cornerstones4Care® to get more content and resources to help you get started.

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