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Take Care of Your Heart. Manage Your Diabetes (in English)

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Take Care of Your Heart. Manage Your Diabetes (in English)

This patient education sheet explains the link between diabetes and heart disease. It encourages patients to work with their health care team to set targets and manage their blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol. It includes a record form to track target numbers.

For information on diabetes and heart disease in Spanish, see the You Are the Heart of Your Family...Take Care of It. (Usted es el corazón de la familia...cuide su corazón) tip sheet.

Last reviewed: 05/01/2013


If you have diabetes, take care of your heart. Having diabetes means you are more likely to have a heart attack or a stroke—but it doesn’t have to—if you take care of your diabetes.

Over time, high blood glucose (sugar) can hurt organs in your body such as your kidneys and your eyes. High blood pressure can make your heart work too hard. And bad cholesterol, or LDL, builds up and clogs your heart and blood vessels.

Taking care of your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol means a longer and healthier life.


Ask Your Doctor

  • What are my blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol numbers?
  • What should they be?
  • What actions can I take to reach my goals?

Use the Diabetes Record Form to write down the answers to these questions.


Take Action Now

You can live longer, improve your health, and lower your risk of heart disease or stroke.

  • Eat foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains.
  • Eat foods made with less salt and fat.
  • Be active 30 minutes or more each day.
  • Stay at a healthy weight—by being active and eating the right amounts of healthy foods.
  • Stop smoking—ask for help or call 1-800-QUITNOW (1-800-784-8669).
  • Take medicines the way your doctor tells you.
  • Ask your doctor about taking aspirin.
  • Ask for help if you feel down or have trouble with stress.
  • Ask your family and friends to help you take care of your heart and your diabetes.

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