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User's Manual: Your Heart

8 Ways to Avoid Heart Attacks and Strokes If You Have Diabetes

Although many people with type 2 diabetes worry about losing their vision or having an amputation, the greater risk is to the heart and brain.
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Credit: Corbis

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Protect your heart

Although many people with type 2 diabetes worry about losing their vision or having an amputation, the greater risk is to the heart and brain.

About 65% of people with type 2 diabetes die of heart disease or stroke. They are two to four times more likely to die of heart disease than people without diabetes.

"When someone does get a diagnosis of diabetes, they probably have had prediabetes for as long as 10 years," says Gerald Bernstein, MD.

"By the time their diagnosis is made, their risk for cardiovascular disease is extremely high. And then 10 years later, they will have their first cardiovascular event."

Next: An enormous challenge

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