Type 2 diabetes mellitus is as great a risk factor for heart disease and stroke as cigarette smoking, hypertension, elevated cholesterol level, obesity, and lack of exercise, according to the American Heart Association (AHA).
The AHA added type 2 diabetes to its list of major modifiable risk factors for heart disease and stroke, because more people will become susceptible as the population ages in coming years. Type 2 diabetes currently accounts for up to 95% of the 10.3 million Americans who have diabetes. Another 5.4 million have undiagnosed type 2 diabetes.
Voelker R. Danger of Diabetes. JAMA. 1999;282(16):1511. doi:10.1001/jama.282.16.1511