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House Call: Diabetes and Heart Disease — Discussing the Relationship

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 70 percent of the population born in the first decade (2000-10) of this century will be obese by the age of 40, with half of those individuals becoming diabetic.

Diabetes is one of the major risk factors of arteriosclerotic heart disease, which is often referred to as hardening of the arteries.  The hardening of arteries occurs when fat, cholesterol, and other substances build up in the walls of arteries and form hard structures called plaques.

PDF: Diabetes and Heart Disease Information

Although early detection and treatment methods for diabetes and cardiovascular disease have improved drastically over the years, the incidence of diabetes is higher than ever, especially type 2 diabetes.

In turn, our society is seeing a rapid increase in what is known as Metabolic Syndrome, which is the name for a group of risk factors that occur together and increase the risk for coronary artery disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.

The best line of defense against diabetes and cardiovascular disease is prevention and/or early detection and treatment.  It is important to discuss with your physician ways to prevent, modify and track risk factors such as obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood sugar; especially if you have a family history of the diseases.

Spokesperson Background:

Dr. Michael Brennan is a pediatric endocrinology specialist, also specializing in adult endocrinology.

Dr. Brennan is a 1978 medical school graduate of University of Massachusetts.  He completed his residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics and a fellowship in Adult and Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.