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Why do so many people with diabetes also have high blood pressure?

When blood sugar is too high for long periods of time, it damages the vascular system, which then impairs blood flow to all of the tissues of the body. This can have all sorts of life threatening implications, including high blood pressure. Vascular and heart disease are the leading cause of shortened lifespan for persons with diabetes. It’s one of the main reasons why it is so important to manage blood sugar levels.

High blood pressure (also called hypertension) raises your risk for heart attack, stroke, eye problems, and kidney disease. The American Diabetes Association and the National Institutes of Health recommend that persons with diabetes maintain a lower blood pressure target than the general public (less than 130/80 mmHg).

Blood pressure is tricky because you can have high blood pressure but not feel it. Heart-related problems are the leading cause of death among people with diabetes, so it is really important that you control blood pressure using medication.

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