Long term complications: Macrovascular

The long-term health complications associated with diabetes can be divided between microvascular and macrovascular complications. Microvascular complications affect the small blood vessels and macrovascular complications affect the large arteries in your body. Macrovascular complications are also sometimes called cardiovascular complications. The higher your blood glucose level rises, the greater your risk of experiencing the health complications that have been linked to Type 2 diabetes. The good news is that you can help minimise your risk by following the advice of your diabetes healthcare team about your treatment and lifestyle.

The large arteries supply blood to your heart, legs, kidneys and brain. If these become clogged up (thrombosed), you will be more at risk of developing heart disease, which can lead to a heart attack. You will also be more at risk of kidney failure, foot ulcers and strokes. Heart attack and stroke represent the major cause of death (up to 75 per cent) in patients with Type 2 diabetes. It is therefore important that you do everything possible to reduce your risk of macrovascular complications.

Reducing your risk of Macrovascular complications

Listed below are 12 positive moves you can make towards reducing your risk of developing macrovascular complications.

  • stop smoking
  • maintain a healthy weight
  • increase your amount of physical exercise
  • avoid stress
  • don't drink too much alcohol
  • control your blood pressure
  • maintain healthy cholesterol levels
  • follow a healthy balanced diet that includes plenty of fruit and vegetables
  • eat foods that are high in fibre and low in fat
  • have regular medical check-ups
  • take the medication that your doctor has prescribed for you
  • always follow the advice of your diabetes healthcare team


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