For those suffering with diabetes, heart disease can become a serious issue.
The staff at University Hospital will hold a free seminar called Connecting the Dots Between Diabetes and Heart Disease on Tuesday that will explain the heightened risk of heart disease for diabetics.
"What we'll do is put together the factors that increase the risk of heart disease when you have diabetes," said Robin Petry, a registered nurse and certified diabetes educator.
The class will be from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Savannah Rapids Pavilion and will be taught by Petry, who has been a certified diabetes educator since 1991.
Those who have diabetes are two to four times more likely to suffer a heart attack and six to eight times more likely to have a stroke, she said.
The seminar is designed not only for people with heart disease and diabetes but also for anyone with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or a family history of either.
The common factors for diabetes and heart disease are interconnected, Petry said, adding that the link between poor blood sugar control and damage to blood vessels in the heart and brain is definite.
"We're going to put together the dots between blood pressure, their cholesterol, their blood sugar and what combination is needed to lower their risk," she said.
Petry said she hopes to teach those at the seminar the factors they can control and how they can lower their risk of heart disease.
"There are factors that a person cannot control, but there are so many factors that a person could control, and I want them to learn what they have power over," she said.
Attendees must register by calling (706) 868-2502 or visiting www.universityhealth.org/calendar. Dinner will be served during the event.
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