Print this topic

HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Diabetes & your risk of heart attack or stroke

Ko te mate huka – he aha tō tūraru o te mate manawa me te rehu ohotata

An older man is at home suffering chest painDiabetes increases your risk of getting cardiovascular disease (CVD). Having CVD means there is a higher risk that you'll have a heart attack or a stroke.

You're at an even higher risk of getting CVD if you're Māori, Pacific or South Asian.

High blood glucose (sugar) causes changes in your blood vessels. Atherosclerosis is when these changes cause your blood vessels to become narrow.

It's important to have regular checks for the other things that increase your CVD risk such as:

Learn to recognise the signs of a heart attack and stroke so you can quickly get help for yourself or someone close to you.

Heart risk assessments

Your general practice team can help you do a Heart risk assessment or you can do it yourself. A heart risk assessment gives an estimate of how likely you are to have a heart attack or stroke within the next five years. It takes into account your health and risk factors.

The age you should start having heart risk assessments depends on your sex, ethnicity and other risk factors. See Heart risk assessment for details.

Reducing your risk

Reduce your risk of getting CVD by:

  HealthInfo recommends the following pages

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed November 2022.


See also:


Page reference: 215172

Review key: HIDIA-21832