Specialized heart care for people with diabetes
Managing your diabetes is imperative for your heart and vascular health. Diabetes is a controllable risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CV). And unfortunately, about 70% of people with diabetes die from some form of heart disease. But with some effort, and the help of the right care team, you can prevent cardiovascular complications.
If you have diabetes, you should be screened for heart disease – especially if you’ve had it for a while. There are now medications that lower glucose and reduce your chance of a heart attack, stroke or death. There are also new, advance minimally invasive procedures that can help prevent a heart attack.
Why Choose the HCA Midwest Heart and Vascular Institute
At the HCA Midwest Heart and Vascular Institute we are dedicated to assessing and managing the risk of heart disease in people with diabetes. Our cardiologists:
- Have a special interest and experience with treating diabetics
- Are world leaders in heart disease and diabetes research with over 20 years of research and over 200 papers published in leading journals (including NEJM, JAMA, JACC Circulation) on the topic
Our extensive expertise allows us to work with your primary care physician (PCP) or endocrinologist (diabetes specialist) to ensure you are on the most effective therapy and treatment plan for diabetes and your heart health.
The HCA Midwest Heart and Vascular Institute is led by interventional cardiologist and medical director, Steven P Marso, MD. Dr. Marso is international renowned for his research in diabetes and heart disease. He is a frequently invited lecturer on the topic, authors and peer reviews papers for various cardiology and diabetes journals, serves on committees for diabetes organizations and served as an investigator on numerous clinical trials for cardiology and diabetes therapies.
Steps to Prevent Heart Disease
- Lower your glucose
- Lower your blood pressure
- Control your cholesterol
- Exercise regularly
- Eat a healthy diet
Screening for Coronary Artery Disease
If you have diabetes, you are at an increased risk for atherosclerosis (plaque buildup in the arteries). People with diabetes are also more likely to have atypical symptoms of coronary artery disease or no symptoms at all. If you have diabetes, especially if you’ve had it for a while, you should be screened for heart disease.
See your primary care physician for an annual assessment of your coronary heart disease risks including:
- Blood pressure
- Fasting lipid profile
- Smoking history
- Weight assessment
Your doctor may also consider referring you for a coronary calcium scan or a stress test to help diagnose and evaluate your heart’s condition.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in people with type 2 diabetes. That’s why it is so important to be screened and seek appropriate treatment from a cardiologist who has knowledge and experience with both diseases.
New Classes of Life-Saving Drugs
In addition to traditional medical therapies that control risk factors of heart disease, there are specific diabetes therapies that are also able to reduce the risks of heart disease. New classes of drugs, GLP-1 antagonists and SGLT2 inhibitors, have been shown to lower glucose, reduce heart attacks and strokes and admissions to the hospital for heart failure, and prevent loss of life.
Hypertension is a common issue in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Early and effective treatment for blood pressure is important to prevent cardiovascular disease.
It is critical that people with diabetes have a blood pressure under 140/80 you have diabetes and hypertension, it is important for you to get your blood pressure under control. High blood pressure can usually be treated by your primary care physician, but if you haven’t been having much success you may need specialized expertise.
The hypertension program at the HCA Midwest Heart and Vascular Institute at Research Medical Center provides comprehensive multidisciplinary care for people with complex or resistant hypertension.
Minimally Invasive Revascularization (Percutaneous Coronary Intervention)
In order to prevent a heart attack due to coronary atherosclerosis, your cardiologist may recommend percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI). These are cardiac procedures that are performed on the coronary arteries through a catheter inserted in the groin. They are minimally invasive and used to open clogged coronary arteries and restore blood flow to the heart. They can be performed as prevention or in the case of an emergency.
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