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Women with diabetes are especially prone to developing heart disease

Women typically don't develop heart disease - or high blood pressure, one of its major risk factors - until after menopause. But "if you have diabetes, that rule no longer applies," says Christine Maric-Bilkan, a program officer in the vascular biology and hypertension branch of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

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Dr. Sears Comments:

Dr. Barry Sears
Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease. That means the body attacks the beta cells in pancreas causing them to be inability to make adequate levels of  insulin. That same excess inflammatory response that leads to diabetes can also damage heart tissue. This is why diabetics are four times more likely to develop heart disease than non-diabetics. The inflammation that caused the diabetes is simply spreading like a cancer to other organs like the heart.

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