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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is there a link between diabetes and heart disease?

  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 1


    Dr Carmel Nottle

    Exercise Physiologist

    I have been an Accredited Exercise Physiologist since 2006 and I am currently working both as a practicing professional and also as a lecturer teaching … View Profile

    Yes there is a link between type 2 diabetes and heart disease as both are considered to be lifestyle related conditions.  This means that factors such as diet, inactivity, smoking and alcohol all are strong contributors to the diseases. . Once you have one of the conditions, the risk of developing the other is also increased.  

  • 1


    Chris Fonda

    Dietitian, Nutritionist, Sports Dietitian

    As an Accredited Sports Dietitian, APD and athlete (springboard diver), Chris has both professional and personal experience in sport at the sub-elite and elite level.Chris … View Profile

    As Carmel has said there is definately a link between the two. To add, often type II diabetes results from being overweight or obese. This is because as the bodies fat (adipose tissue) increases, in particular around the organs, it releases hormones and inflammatory markers (or cytokines) which have an affect on insulin sensitivity leading to insulin resistance and eventuall type II diabetes (put simply).

    These hormones and cytokines also affect the blood vessels which can lead to atherosclerosis, which leads to high blood pressure and eventually heart diesease. As Carmel noted, factors such as diet, physcial activity, smoking and alcohol can all contribute to your risk of developing heart disease and type II diabetes.

    More more expert dietary advice, seek help from an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD). An APD can help you to better understand your condition and provide you with dietary strategies to help you to live a long healthy life. To find an APD, go to

  • 1


    Nicole Senior

    Dietitian, Nutritionist

    I'm an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutritionist, consultant, author, speaker and food and health enthusiast. I love talking and writing about food and health.(please note, … View Profile

    Absolutely. In fact the most common cause of death in diabetes is cardiovascular disease and if you have type 2 diabetes your risk of heart disease is at least doubled. The risk posed by high blood glucose levels isn't just isolated to those with diagnosed diabetes but also in those with pre-diabetes -and most people don't even realise they have higher than normal blood glucose levels (and best estimates say this is 1 in 4 Australian adults). In short, having high glucose levels creates an inflammatory environment in which atherosclerosis can thrive. It's important that you keep tabs on your cholesterol (AKA blood lipids) and your blood sugar levels to take evasive action ASAP and that evasive action is waist-reduction, a heart and diabetes-friendly diet and an active lifestyle. If you're after great recips that fit the bill, check out Heart Food available online at

  • 1


    Prof David Colquhoun

    Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

    Associate Professor David Colquhoun is a cardiologist who has been in private practice in Queensland for more than 30 years. He has been involved in … View Profile

    Yes. It's been established now for more than 40 years that if you have diabetes, you're at greater risk of getting coronary heart disease, be it a heart attack, angina, or the need for bypass surgery. Even if you've had a heart attack, having diabetes increases your risk of having further problems over the next few years.

  • Kirsty Woods

    Exercise Physiologist

    Hi I’m Kirsty Woods,I would like to use my experience, expertise and passion to help you reach your weight, energy and health goalsI have been … View Profile

    You may find this overveiw of interest:)

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