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Diabetes Complications

Diabetes Complications in the Heart

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for people with diabetes. Three out of four diabetes-related deaths are caused by heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease. People with diabetes are 2 to 4 times more likely to have heart disease than people without diabetes. Even people with type 2 diabetes who do not have heart disease are at an increased risk of having a heart attack. People with diabetes also tend to have other risk factors for heart disease, including:
(Click Diabetes and Heart Disease for more information.)

Complications Affecting the Eyes

Other diabetes complications affect the eyes. High blood glucose and high blood pressure from diabetes can hurt four parts of your eye:
  • Retina. The retina is the lining at the back of the eye. The retina's job is to sense light coming into the eye.
  • Vitreous. The vitreous is a jelly-like fluid that fills the back of the eye.
  • Lens. The lens is at the front of the eye, and it focuses light on the retina.
  • Optic nerve. The optic nerve is the eye's main nerve to the brain.
Diabetic retinopathy is the medical term for the most common diabetic eye disease. Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of diabetes and a leading cause of blindness. Diabetic retinopathy occurs when diabetes damages the tiny blood vessels inside the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. A healthy retina is necessary for good vision.
Two other common diabetes complications seen with the eyes include cataracts and glaucoma. People without diabetes can get these eye problems, too, but people with diabetes get them more often and at a younger age.
(Click Diabetic Retinopathy or Diabetic Eye Disease for more information.)
Diabetes Tips for Seniors

Diabetic Complications

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