Type 2 Diabetes – Diabetes and the Risk of Stroke

Type 2 Diabetes – Diabetes and the Risk of Stroke

People diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes are at higher risk for developing heart disease and having a stroke. Blood vessels of diabetics often become clogged with cholesterol, or have difficulty expanding to meet the needs of blood flow. When blood vessels in the brain, or those feeding blood to the brain, are unable to carry adequate amounts of blood, a cerebrovascular accident (CVA), more commonly known as a stroke, can develop. Diabetics actually have twice the risk of stroke as non-diabetics.

In a study reported on in February 2012 in the journal Stroke, researchers at Columbia University and the University of Miami in the United States, compared:

length of time with diabetes, and

number of strokes,

discover whether the amount of time after the diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes would affect the risk of stroke.

Their study included 3298 participants who had never had a stroke when they were recruited. Their average was between 59 and 79 years.

22 per cent had diabetes at the start of the study, and

10 per cent developed the condition over the course of the next 9 years.

Two hundred and forty-four strokes were diagnosed during the study, and those people with the longest duration of diabetes had the highest risk of CVA or a stroke.

From the above information it was concluded the risk of stroke goes up 3 per cent per year for people with Type 2 diabetes, and triples after 10 years.

The American Diabetes Association recommends a plan called ABC for preventing heart and blood vessel disease and strokes. Know your hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), and keep it within normal limits with a healthy diet, regular exercise, and compliance with medications if needed. Be aware of your blood pressure measurement and keep the number where your doctor recommends. This can be achieved by:

normalizing your weight and

getting enough physical activity, as well as taking whatever

medications are prescribed without fail.

Keep your cholesterol in check by eating a low-fat diet and keep the HDL, or “good” cholesterol, high and your LDL, or “bad” cholesterol down by eating only:

healthful fats, (olive oil, canola oil),

performing regular physical activity, as well as

taking medications as prescribed, if necessary.

If a stroke does strike or is suspected, time is important. Time equals brain tissue damage. Signs and symptoms of stroke include:

an extremely painful headache,


slurred speech,

weakness down one side of your body,

tingling, or numbness, especially on one side of your body,

sudden difficulty in seeing, and

problems with balance.

If any signs or symptoms do strike, get emergency care as soon as possible.