The Relationship Between Type 2 Diabetes and Heart Disease

Disclaimer – This content was sponsored by the Boehringer Ingelheim-Lilly Canada Diabetes Alliance, but opinions are my own.

Although I am not a huge fan of the cold and snow, February is actually one of my favourite months of the year. The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is now a distant memory and I have lots of time to reflect and make plans for the coming year.

I find this is a great time to reconnect with priorities and invest in yourself, especially when it comes to staying healthy.  February is also Heart Month, which is the perfect time to think about your future by protecting your heart health. This is especially true if you have type 2 diabetes.

Heart Disease

Did you know that heart disease is the number one cause of death for Canadians living with type 2 diabetes?

Many people don’t, but here are some staggering facts:

  • Type 2 diabetes can reduce your life expectancy by as much as 15 years.
  • Eighty percent of Canadians with diabetes will die from heart disease.

If you have type 2 diabetes and a history of heart disease, diet and exercise may not be enough to protect your heart. Thankfully though, there is help available and being proactive is key!

Heart Disease

According to Diabetes Canada, the “pillars of cardiovascular protection” are diet, exercise, medication, smoking cessation, and stress reduction. By following these pillars you will also help regulate other factors such as elevated blood pressure and cholesterol.

Diabetes Canada recommends that people with diabetes ask their doctor about the ABCDEs that may help reduce their risk of heart disease.

  • ABCDEs to reduce the risk:
    • A – A1C: Control blood glucose levels and keep A1C around 7 percent or less. A1C is a blood test that is an index of the average blood glucose level over the last 120 days
    • B – Blood pressure: Keep blood pressure to less than 130/80 mmHg
    • C – Cholesterol – LDL (bad) cholesterol target is 2.0 mmol/L or less
    • D – Drugs to protect your heart – Speak with your doctor about medication options to help reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke
    • E – Exercise – Regular physical activity, along with a healthy diet, and achievement and maintenance of a healthy body weight
    • S – Smoking and stress – Avoid smoking and manage stress effectively.

There is a worrisome knowledge deficit among Canadians with diabetes. Most Canadians with type 2 diabetes (93 percent) feel they are knowledgeable about their disease management, but one in two don’t know their diabetes alone significantly increases the risk of heart attack, heart failure, and stroke.

Heart Disease

If you’re living with type 2 diabetes, it is important to take an active role in investing in the protection of your heart.  Know that you can help prevent an early death with medications that lower your risk of dying from heart disease, saving you precious time to spend doing what you love with the people you love.

If you have type 2 diabetes speak with your doctor about steps you can take to help manage your risk of heart disease and be sure to visit to learn more.

Disclaimer – This content was sponsored by the Boehringer Ingelheim-Lilly Canada Diabetes Alliance, but opinions are my own.


  1. This is such a great and informative post! I didn’t know there was so much of a relationship between type 2 diabetes and heart disease. I really like the acronym of ABCDEs you used to help people remember ways they can reduce risks. Definitely a post I will pass along, thanks for sharing!

  2. My neighbor is diagnosed with diabetes and recently she has to go to the hospital to removed here last small toe. Pretty scary and anyone should start taking good care when young and not waiting when things are too late. Great post you have there and I hope more people can learn from here.

  3. This is seriously such a great read with so much helpful info! There are so many people living with type 2 diabetes but I had no idea there was such a strong correlation to heart disease!

  4. Blairvillanueva says

    Thanks for your information. It is good to check about our health. Health is wealth.

  5. The heart is one of the most important parts of the body and taking care of it is very imp.

    Loved your article!

  6. Baxter Myles says

    I have type 2 and Angina.i started walking mid sept last year and could only do 3-4 laps around the gym before I had to rest as I also have arthritis in my hips,I am now doing up to 25 laps most days and my doctor has reduced my blood pressure medication and I was taking 4 slow acting pills for my diabetes but now I’m taking only 1 a day.also the sign at the gym is posted for 22 laps would be 5 km.

  7. Joan Dale says

    I thought that I was doing a great job of controlling my type 2 diabetes with my diet until one day a couple years ago and I had a severe heart attack that the doctors confirmed was a result of the diabetes. Up until that time I thought that my heart was in great shape. Little did I know that I had a couple of blockages forming. This was a life changing event for me because I had no idea that there was any connection between heart disease and diabetes.

  8. Catherine Chiasson says

    I am trying my best but some time i get bored and cheat and after i stared eating the good food my father died from a heart attack and i dont want it to happen to me so i take care of myself the best way i cant my mother had old ages diabetes so you see got watch nyself because i want to see my grand children as long as could

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