Type 2 Diabetes, One is Too Many

Do you know someone who has type 2 diabetes? I’m fairly confident your answer will be yes. I realize this because, like many of you, I know several people with this disease.

Type 2 Diabetes

Maybe it’s your mom or dad, or an aunt or uncle or it could be your brother, sister or best friend.  What I do know for certain is this; when it comes to type 2 diabetes, even one is too many.

Why is it One is Too Many?

  • One is too many because approximately one in two Canadians with type 2 diabetes will die from some form of heart disease (which includes heart attack, heart failure, and stroke).
  • One is too many because too many mothers that won’t see their children have children.
  • One is too many grandfathers who won’t make it to their grandkids’ hockey game.
  • One is too many families that will be forever changed.

Type 2 Diabetes

The good news is with more knowledge and recent advances in treatment, this number can be reduced.

The not so good news is, research shows that many Canadians with diabetes are unaware of the heart-related risks their disease brings. According to the My Heart Matters Survey there is also a very worrisome knowledge deficit among Canadians with diabetes.

  • Most Canadians with type 2 diabetes (93 per cent) feel they are knowledgeable about their disease management, but one in two have no idea their diabetes alone significantly increases the risk of heart attack, heart failure and stroke.
  • More than half (56 per cent) don’t know or don’t believe heart disease is the most common cause of death among adults with type 2 diabetes.
  • Studies show that people with diabetes may develop heart disease 10 to 15 years earlier than people without diabetes, but only 54 per cent of Canadians with type 2 diabetes are aware of this fact. 
  • Forty-one per cent of Canadians with type 2 diabetes believe there are no medications that control blood sugar levels and heart disease. However, there are diabetes treatments that can reduce the risk of a heart-related event or dying from heart disease.

The reality is, even one life lost to type 2 diabetes is one too many. If you have type 2 diabetes and a history of heart disease, controlling your blood sugar alone may not be enough. But, there are medications that – along with diet and exercise – have been proven to lower the risk of dying from problems related to your heart and blood vessels. The sooner you understand your risk, the sooner you can do something about it. That’s why it’s critical that people living with type 2 diabetes understand the risks that come with this disease.

Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes Canada recommends that people with diabetes ask their doctor about the ABCDEs, a set of important tips 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 per cent 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 – Aim for your LDL cholesterol to be less than 2.0 mmol/L

D – Drugs to protect your heart – Speak with your doctor about medication options to help reduce the risk of heart disease

E – Exercise – Regular physical activity, which includes a healthy diet, achievement and maintenance of a healthy body weight

S – Screening for complications – Ensure you’re tested regularly for possible complications with your heart, feet, and kidneys

S – Smoking cessation – Look into ways to reduce or stop smoking

S – Self-management – Manage stress effectively

Type 2 Diabetes

It’s extremely important for Canadians with diabetes to be reminded to prioritize their health and understand that their diabetes can put them at risk for other conditions, most commonly heart disease.  

Remember, One Is Too Many! Knowledge of the connection between diabetes and heart disease can be life-saving. If you have type 2 diabetes, speak with your doctor about steps you can take to help manage your risk of heart disease and visit myheartmatters.ca to learn more. You can also complete the Risk Assessment Tool to find out your risk of type 2 diabetes-related heart disease. 

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


  1. Finally an article aimed at the right things. Being a type 2 diabetic, I get frustrated when people who don’t have it write articles telling us what to do. Unlike this informative article, they try to tell us what we already know and are often misinformed. Thank you for a great article based on facts!

  2. Thanks for all this information! It is alarming how many young and old have Diabetes

  3. Thanks for sharing. I had no idea that type-2 diabetes are related to heart attacks. I will share it with my contacts, some people I know that have diabetes.

  4. this is some really great info! I didnt have any idea!

  5. This is a very informative post. Hearing those stats are very scary and surprising. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge on this subject. It has been so helpful.

  6. I really did not know a lot about diabetes before this. There really are a ton of ways to reduce risk, thanks for sharing!

  7. I know a young man that was recently diagnosed. I am having a hard time getting him to take it seriously. He thinks a pill will fix it so he can continue the destructive lifestyle. Thank you for the information to share.

  8. Thank you for all the wonderful information. It’s amazing how much can be done with just lifestyle changes. We should all be mindful.

  9. Diabetes is very prevalent in my husbands side of the family. It is something we always keep an eye on.

  10. I’m struggling right now with my type 2, I am on insulin but I am injecting 56 units and I still can not get below 10, it’s very stressful and frustrating, and my eyes are getting worse as well, so I have to see my eye doctor every 3 months, Diabetes suck and I wish no one had it!