The ABCs of Diabetes Control

Content provided by the Faculty of Harvard Medical School
Excerpted from a Harvard Special Report
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Because diabetes raises your risk of heart disease by four to five times compared with people without the disease, you should pay close attention to factors that can put you at greater risk for heart trouble. These are often referred to as the " ABCs":

  • Hemoglobin A1c blood sugar test

  • Blood pressure

  • Cholesterol.

A diagnosis of type 2 diabetes doesn’t need to ruin your life; in fact, it can change it for the better. With the right lifestyle changes, you can even avoid taking diabetes medication. These type 2 patients share how they cook, exercise, and relax their way to better health.

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Aug 13, 2015

The treatment goals for people with diabetes are more stringent than those for people without diabetes. The good news is that lifestyle changes — and weight loss in particular — to improve your blood sugar usually will have a beneficial effect on the other values as well.

Optimal ABC markers for most people with diabetes
HbA1c
Less than 7%
Blood pressure
Less than 130/80 mm Hg
LDL (bad) cholesterol
Less than 100 mg/dL
HDL (good) cholesterol
More than 40 mg/dL in men or 50 mg/dL in women
Last Review Date: May 30, 2014

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