Heart attack & Stroke Risk

Submitted by Thiruvelan on Wed, 06/23/2010

Just having diabetes puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke. Additional risk factors are high blood pressure, cholesterol, obesity, and family history of heart attack/stroke.

Heart disease, Heart attack, and Stroke - Risk factors

  • Family history of heart disease, if one or more members of your family had a heart attack at an early age (before age 55 for men or 65 for women), you may be at increased risk.
  • Obesity, the waist size of more than 40 inches in the case of men and 35 inches in the case of women. Big waist size means high abdominal fat, which can increase the production of LDL or bad cholesterol.
  • Badly controlled diabetes, that is fasting blood-glucose levels of 100 mg/dL or higher.
  • High blood pressure means your heart must work harder to pump blood. Therefore, it can stain the heart, may damage blood vessels, and increases the heart disease risks. High pressure of blood may harm blood vessels in brain thus risk for stroke.
  • High blood cholesterol can build up inside blood vessels causing narrowing and hardening of arteries (blood vessels that carry blood from heart to rest of the body). Therefore, high-cholesterol can increase the risk of getting heart diseases and stroke. Elevated level of triglycerides of 150 mg/dL or higher and low levels of HDL or good cholesterol below 40 mg/dL in men and below 50 mg/dL in women increases your risk of developing heart disease and stroke.
  • Smoking multiplies your risk of getting heart disease and stroke. Smoking and diabetes increases the chances of narrowing blood vessels, thus increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • If you already had a heart disease, heart attack increases the risk of getting another heart attack.
  • If you already had a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA) or mini-stroke, increases the risk of getting another stroke.