Heart health is a concern for individuals with type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes

In addition to diabetes management, individuals who have either type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes must also closely monitor their heart health.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) reports that diabetics are two times more likely to experience a heart attack or stroke, compared to the general population. Furthermore, two out of every three people who have type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes die from one of these cardiovascular events.

Recently, a study presented at the Society of Nuclear Medicine's 58th Annual Meeting indicated that individuals with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes may be able to find out whether they are at risk for ischemic heart disease through molecular imaging.

The researchers explained that the screening technique can detect instances of reduced blood flow to the heart. When left untreated, this condition can create a lack of oxygen in the heart tissues and promote a sudden attack.

"Most diabetic patients do not exhibit signs of myocardial ischemia and may be on course toward major cardiac events without any red alert. Molecular imaging could potentially provide an effective screening tool for at-risk diabetic patients," said lead researcher Kenji Fukushima, MD.

The ADA states that three things that are essential for diabetics to reduce their risk of heart disease include regular A1c testing as well as managing blood pressure and cholesterol.

People with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes who need to lower their blood pressure should eat a serving of fruit at each meal, switch to low-fat dairy products and occasionally eat nuts or peanut butter, the ADA recommends. These individuals should also aim to engage in 30 minutes of exercise on most days.

In addition to diabetes medications, some physicians may recommend that their patients who have type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes take blood pressure- or cholesterol-lowering drugs to improve their heart health.