A study published last week in the journal Stroke, found that type 2 diabetes increases ischemic stroke risk by 3% each year and risk triples with long-standing diabetes for 10 years or more.
This study looked at 3,298 people. 22% of them had diabetes at baseline (the beginning) of the study and 10% of them developed diabetes during the study. 244 ischemic strokes occurred during the study.
This study was the first of its kind to look at the duration of diabetes and the relative risk to ischemic stroke. Ischemic stroke is the most common form of stroke, which is blockage of blood flow to the brain.
Stroke And Diabetes Explained
To make sense of this study, you have to understand that the main problem with diabetes as it relates to stroke. The main problem is cardiovascular disease. 1 in 5 people here in the US has some form of cardiovascular disease and that number is much higher in people with diabetes. And stroke is 2-4 times more likely in people with diabetes.
Not to scare you, but according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), 75-80% of people with diabetes will die from cardiovascular disease. And with the study I mentioned above, and these stats, it is crystal clear that it is crucial that you prevent the development of cardiovascular disease or slow it down from progressing.
The short and plain on cardiovascular disease is this. Cardiovascular disease is caused by the development of plaque in your arteries. The medical term for this is atherosclerosis. Eventually these plaques are responsible for blocking blood flow and causing stroke.
Blockage of blood flow through the cerebral arteries, the arteries that supply the brain, could lead to the death of brain cells, which is stroke. And if enough cells are destroyed this can cause death.
Now because all of this may sound frightening, I’m a firm believer in empowering people. Empowering people to check their blood sugar, modify their lifestyle, and get educated on the long-term consequences of poorly controlled type 2 diabetes. It can be a helpless feeling when you don’t know what or how to handle type 2 diabetes.
So many physicians that I speak with mention that their patients are “old school” or set in their ways. But small steps can make a big difference in the long run. And complications such as ischemic stroke don’t have to happen to you.
Prior to using any of this material, please speak with your physician.