Complications Of Diabetes

The most important health impacts of diabetes are the long-term complications it can cause. Most of these long-term complications are related to the adverse effects diabetes has on arteries and nerves.

Complications related to artery damage

Diabetes causes damage to both large and small arteries. This artery damage results in medical problems that are both common and serious:

  1. Cardiovascular disease. Diabetics have up to a 400% greater chance of heart attack or stroke. Heart disease and stroke cause about 65% of deaths among people with diabetes.These deaths could be reduced by 30% with improved care to control blood pressure and blood glucose and lipid levels.
  2. Amputations. About 82,000 people have diabetes-related leg and foot amputations each year. Over 60% of non-traumatic lower limb amputations are diabetes related. Foot care programs that include regular examinations and patient education could prevent up to 85% of these amputations.
  3. Kidney disease. About 38,000 people with diabetes develop kidney failure each year. Treatment to better control blood pressure and blood glucose levels could reduce diabetes-related kidney failure by about 50%.
  4. Eye disease and blindness. Each year, 12,000-24,000 people become blind because of diabetic eye disease, including diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults 20-74 years old. Screening and care could prevent up to 90% of diabetes-related blindness.
  5. Sexual Dysfunction. Approximately 70% of all adult males with diabetes currently suffer or will experience sexual dysfunction or impotence.

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