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What Is The Connection Between Diabetes And Cardiovascular Disease?

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Dr. Kahlon explains the association between heart disease and diabetes in women. Dr. Kahlon Co-Chairs Tri-City’s Department of Echocardiography and sees patients at Banner Heart Hospital in Mesa, Arizona.

Dr. Kahlon:
So there is a connection between women, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. For example, I have this patient that I see, she is a very petite female, young, you would not guess somebody who would be having heart disease because when we think of heart disease we picture somebody who is obese, somebody who is either very old or somebody who has a lot of other illnesses.

And then we think they probably have a heart disease, but when you see a young, thin, petite looking woman in her late 30s and she comes with some chest pain, you don’t think of heart disease the first thing. You think maybe she has got some emotional issues, maybe she has some acid reflux, maybe she hurt her chest doing workout in gym but then you take history and she tells you she has been diabetic for 20 years. So that changes your perspective completely.

Though externally she is a healthy-looking petite young woman, but her body has been exposed to diabetes for 20 years. As we know, diabetes causes injury to the artery lining. Because of the fact that these arteries have been injured over long periods of time they are more likely to develop plaque in them and more likely to develop blockage in them, and then I took further history and she also has a little bit of cholesterol problem.

And her cholesterol is actually not very high, but her good cholesterol is very low, which is also something very important to understand in a person who is diabetic that their total cholesterol may not be very high, but their break down of cholesterol may be very detrimental to their cardiovascular health. That means that their good cholesterol may be low and the bad cholesterol maybe only slightly high but that low good cholesterol has a very, very negative effect on our body in terms of developing heart disease.

So with those factors present she was tested and she actually was found to have heart disease which was successfully treated with a stenting and her pain went away and obviously she is doing really well but because of the fact that she is diabetic makes us think differently about her than any other person that we would see.

So these two factors – diabetes and also smoking in women, really are main things which would really make us think of them being diagnosed of having heart disease if they are having heart disease symptom at a lot younger age than you would normally expect a female to develop heart disease, usually in their 50, but they can develop heart disease in their late 30s or 40s if they are diabetic or if they have smoked before.

About Dr. Jaskamal Kahlon, M.D.:
Dr. Jaskamal Kahlon is Board Certified in Cardiovascular Diseases, Echocardiography, Interventional Cardiology and Internal Medicine. He completed his Fellowship in Cardiovascular Medicine and Internal Medicine Residency at the St. John Hospital and Medical Center, Fellowship in Interventional Cardiology at Emory University and his Residency in Cardiology.

Conditions: Heart Disease, Coronary Artery Disease, Valvular Heart Disease, Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiomyopathy, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, Heart Attack

Related Terms: Artherosclerotic Stenosis, Arrhythmia, Red Rice Yeast, Statin Therapy, Hypertension, Hip to Waist Ration, Arterial Blockage, Plaque, Blod Clot,
Chest Tightness, Shortness of Breath, Stent, EKG, Heart Bypass Surgery

Expert: Dr. Jaskamal P. S. Kahlon, Jaskamal P S Kahlon, M.D., Heart Expert Dr. Kahlon, Cardiologist, Internist

Expertise: Peripheral Artery Disease, Heart Disease Risks, Heart Disease Management, Cardiac Metabolic Syndrome, Heart Disease Prevention, Blood Pressure Testing, Cholesterol Testing, Robotic Catheter Ablation, Coronary Artery Disease, Interventional Cardiology, Echocardiography, Arrhythmia

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