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Women: How Controlling Blood Sugar Benefits Your Heart (www.hopkinsmedicine.org)

When most people hear the term “blood sugar,” the disease that generally comes to mind is diabetes, not heart disease.

However, according to a Johns Hopkins study, type 1 and type 2 diabetes are some of the most harmful risk factors for cardiovascular disease, says Johns Hopkins cardiologist Bill McEvoy, M.B., B.Ch.

Keeping your blood sugar (as well as blood pressure and cholesterol levels) under control is, therefore, one of the best things you can do for your heart.

“A large proportion of diabetes patients have no symptoms, but diabetes, particularly when poorly controlled, is already harming their blood vessels and leading to hardening of the arteries, which is what leads to heart disease,” says McEvoy. In some cases, patients don’t even realize that they have diabetes until the disease progresses to the point where they have a heart attack, he says.

That’s why it’s important to be aware of your blood glucose numbers, along with monitoring your overall weight and body fat.

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