Diabetes significantly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, including cardiac arrest where high levels of blood sugar over time can damage blood vessels and nerves that control the heart. Diabetes is often associated with other risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and obesity.

Heart health and diabetes: How can diabetic patients tackle cardiac arrest (Photo by Kidney Hospital & Lifeline Medical Institutions)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr TS Kler, Chairman and HOD at BLK-Max Heart and Vascular Institute in BLK Max Super Speciality Hospital, explained, “Individuals with diabetes are more prone to developing coronary artery disease, which can lead to heart attacks and ultimately cardiac arrest. Heart failure is a long term impact of diabetes, and people with diabetes tend to develop heart disease at younger age than people without diabetes. We will need to maintain a proper management of diabetes through medication, lifestyle changes, and regular medical check-ups is essential in reducing the risk of cardiovascular complications, including cardiac arrest. People need to follow a certain plan and a systematic approach to attain a longer and healthy lifestyle.”

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He recommended that diabetic patients need to take several precautions to prevent cardiac arrest, including:

  1. Managing Blood Sugar Levels – Keeping blood sugar levels within a target range helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular complications.
  2. Healthy Diet – Following a balanced diet low in saturated fats, cholesterol, and sodium while high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins supports heart health. Food rich in Omega-3 fatty acids helps in preventing heart failure.
  3. Regular Exercise – Engaging in regular physical activity helps control blood sugar levels, improves circulation, and strengthens the heart.
  4. Medication Adherence – Taking prescribed medications, such as insulin or oral medications, as directed by healthcare providers helps manage diabetes and reduces cardiovascular risks.
  5. Monitoring Blood Pressure and Cholesterol – Keeping blood pressure and cholesterol levels in check through regular monitoring and medication if necessary reduces the risk of heart disease.
  6. Lifestyle Modifications – Avoiding smoking, limiting alcohol consumption, and managing stress effectively contribute to overall cardiovascular health.
  7. Muscle Mass – People with low muscle mass have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease mortality and all cause mortality. Increase in muscle mass help in tackling the issue.
  8. Regular Medical Check-ups – Routine check-ups with healthcare providers help monitor diabetes management and detect any signs of cardiovascular issues early.

Echoing that for patients managing diabetes, the risk of cardiac arrest can be a daunting concern however, proactive steps can significantly mitigate this risk and enhance overall cardiovascular health, Dr Sumit Sawhney, Physician at Shivam Hospital, shared, “First, maintaining optimal blood glucose levels through consistent monitoring, medication adherence, and a balanced diet is paramount. Stable blood sugar levels help reduce strain on the heart and minimize the risk of complications leading to cardiac events.”

He revealed, “Regular physical activity tailored to individual capabilities and medical recommendations plays a pivotal role in cardiovascular health. Exercise not only improves insulin sensitivity but also strengthens the heart muscle, enhances circulation, and helps manage weight, all of which are crucial for preventing cardiac issues. Equally vital is the management of additional risk factors such as hypertension, high cholesterol, and smoking, which can exacerbate cardiovascular complications in diabetic patients. Collaborating closely with healthcare providers to develop personalized management plans, including regular check-ups and screenings, empowers individuals to proactively address potential concerns and make informed decisions regarding their cardiac health.”

Concluding, Dr Sumit Sawhney advised, “By prioritising comprehensive diabetes management, adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle, and fostering open communication with healthcare professionals, diabetic patients can effectively reduce the risk of cardiac arrest and safeguard their long-term well-being. As the saying goes, “In the journey to heart health, proactive management of diabetes serves as the compass guiding individuals toward a path of vitality and longevity.””

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