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Shared risk factors

Heart and circulatory diseases are often connected. They can have the same risk factors and one can lead to another. That’s why our research starts with your heart, but doesn’t stop there. 

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Why is diabetes a risk factor?

Diabetes happens when your body is unable to process glucose (sugar) properly. This can cause damage to your blood vessels, and puts you at higher risk of developing heart and circulatory diseases.

However, our research could help find out how this happens and find new ways to prevent its devastating consequences.

Adults with diabetes are up to three times more likely to develop heart and circulatory diseases, and are nearly twice as likely to die from heart disease or stroke as those without diabetes.

Risk factors for heart and circulatory diseases

Diabetes and high cholesterol can cause damage to blood vessels in the head and heart. This is something that Soma is all too aware of, because she’s seen it happen in her family. Her father passed away at just 49 from a stroke, as did her grandfather. Now, Soma is determined to take control of her own diabetes and high cholesterol.

For Soma, managing her risk factors means making the effort to control her blood sugar, and taking a statin to help reduce her cholesterol and heart attack risk. She has risen to the challenge of cooking a healthy low fat, low salt diet to keep her and her son, Mohul, healthy. As Soma says “I try to live well and control the condition. I want to be healthy and live long for my son.”

Soma’s story is a reminder that the risk factors for heart disease can be the same as the ones for stroke. BHF fund research into how these risk factors cause harm.

Our research about vascular damage caused by diabetes

One of the many diabetes research projects we fund is being led by Dr Richard Cubbon. His team is developing and testing a way of reactivating stem cells taken from a person’s own blood. The aim is that they could be used in the future to help heal damage to blood vessels caused by diabetes. The researchers hope this project will bring them closer to using stem cells to reduce the risk of future heart and circulatory diseases for people with diabetes.

Donate to beat heartbreak forever

From heart diseases and stroke to vascular dementia, we raise money to fund research into all heart and circulatory diseases and their risk factors. Every breakthrough we’ve made has been funded by people like you. So please donate today. It could help save someone you love in the future.


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