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Reaching your blood sugar goal can still mean high CV risk

Heart disease, which is another way of saying cardiovascular disease, refers to conditions that involve narrowed or blocked blood vessels that can cause a heart attack or a stroke.

I figured if I hit my A1C goal, I was golden, but my doctor helped me see that I’m still at 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. And people with type 2 diabetes, even if they've reached their A1C target, can still be at an increased CV risk because of commonly associated conditions like high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

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 heart attack or stroke is 2x greater compared with someone without diabetes
  • A significant percentage of heart attacks in people with diabetes are clinically "silent," meaning that they have no symptoms


  • About 70% of deaths in people with type 2 diabetes are caused by cardiovascular disease, which means it is 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

Know the symptoms

The longer you have type 2 diabetes, the more you’re going to be at risk for developing heart disease. Talk to your health care provider about your risk, and know the signs of a heart attack or stroke. Tell your friends and family what the symptoms are too. If symptoms show up, don’t be tough. Get medical help right away. When it comes to your heart, don’t take any chances.

Heart attack symptoms

Heart attacks happen when blood flow to the heart is blocked, and may include these 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 or when you have bleeding inside your brain, and may include these symptoms:

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

If you experience any of these signs and symptoms, seek medical attention right away. Don’t mess around with these things. Go get the help you need.

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 I got real about healthy eating, being active, and taking my medicine as discussed with my doctor.

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