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The Diabetes - Heart Disease Connection

By Turner, Polly
Content provided by: Better Medicine from Healthgrades

Most of us know that diabetes can lead to severe complications, such as blindness, kidney disease, and amputations. But did you know that diabetes also greatly increases the risk for cardiovascular disease?

It's a fact: Heart disease, stroke, and their complications are the leading causes of illness and death in people with diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), heart disease affects people with diabetes twice as often as people who don't have diabetes, and it affects them at an earlier age. According to the CDC National Diabetes Fact Sheet 2011, cardiovascular disease causes more than two-thirds of deaths in people with diabetes.


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Indications and Usage for Lantus® (insulin glargine [rDNA origin] injection)

Prescription Lantus® is a long-acting insulin used to treat adults with type 2 diabetes and adults and children (6 years and older) with type 1 diabetes for the control of high blood sugar. It should be taken once a day at the same time each day to lower blood glucose.

Do not use Lantus® to treat diabetic ketoacidosis.

Important Safety Information for Lantus® (insulin glargine [rDNA origin] injection)

Do not take Lantus® if you are allergic to insulin or any of the inactive ingredients in Lantus®.

You must test your blood sugar levels while using insulin, such as Lantus®. Do not make any changes to your dose or type of insulin without talking to your healthcare provider. Any change of insulin should be made cautiously and only under medical supervision.

Do NOT dilute or mix Lantus® with any other insulin or solution. It will not work as intended and you may lose blood sugar control, which could be serious. Lantus® must only be used if the solution is clear and colorless with no particles visible. Do not share needles, insulin pens or syringes with others.

The most common side effect of insulin, including Lantus®, is low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), which may be serious. Some people may experience symptoms such as shaking, sweating, fast heartbeat, and blurred vision. Severe hypoglycemia may be serious and life threatening. It may cause harm to your heart or brain. Other possible side effects may include injection site reactions, including changes in fat tissue at the injection site, and allergic reactions, including itching and rash. In rare cases, some allergic reactions may be life threatening.

Tell your doctor about other medicines and supplements you are taking because they can change the way insulin works. Before starting Lantus®, tell your doctor about all your medical conditions including if you have liver or kidney problems, are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding or planning to breast-feed.

Lantus® SoloSTAR® is a disposable prefilled insulin pen. Please talk to your healthcare provider about proper injection technique and follow instructions in the Instruction Leaflet that accompanies the pen.

Please click here or the link below for the full prescribing information for Lantus®

US.GLA.13.04.225 © 2014 sanofi-aventis U.S. LLC, A SANOFI COMPANY


Diabetes accelerates the process of atherosclerosis. Thickened, clogged coronary arteries are twice as common in people with diabetes than in the general population--even if the symptoms of diabetes haven't surfaced. Because such damage begins early in life--often in young adulthood--aggressive intervention to treat all the risk factors for heart disease should begin before the age of 30.

People with diabetes also are two to four times more likely to have a stroke than people without diabetes, the CDC says.

Prevention tips

If you have diabetes, the ADA lists several ways you can reduce your risk for developing heart disease:

  • Keep your A1C (or hemoglobin A1C) level around 7 percent. This test measures your average blood sugar during the previous three months. You should have this level checked at least twice a year, or more frequently if recommended by your doctor.

  • Keep your blood pressure at less than 130/80 mmHg. You should have your blood pressure checked each time you visit your health care provider.

  • Keep your LDL ("bad") cholesterol level at less than 100 mg/dL through a healthy diet, regular exercise, and medications, if necessary. LDL is the main source for cholesterol buildup and blockage of arteries. Your cholesterol should be checked at least once a year.

  • Keep your HDL ("good") cholesterol level at 40 mg/dL or higher for men, and at 50 mg/dL or higher for women. HDL carries cholesterol from the blood to the liver, where it is removed from the body.

  • Keep your triglycerides level at 150 mg/dL or lower.

Lifestyle changes that can help reduce your risk for developing heart disease include quitting smoking; losing weight, if needed; getting regular exercise; and eating foods with less saturated fat and cholesterol.

Medical Reviewer: newMentor board-certified, academically affiliated clinician; Stump-Sutliff, Kim, RN, MSN, AOCNS Last Annual Review Date: April 23, 2013 Copyright: © 2000-2013 Krames StayWell, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

Reference: Diabetes section on Better Medicine


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