Fast Five Quiz: Type 2 Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease Risk

Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD


February 15, 2022

Data suggest the moderate weight gain commonly associated with smoking cessation does not detract from its benefits for CVD risk reduction. Of note, a recent meta-analysis showed that the risk reduction in CVD and all-cause mortality associated with smoking cessation was greater in quitters with weight gain than in quitters without, especially in CHD and stroke, a finding that merits further investigation.

A Joint Scientific Statement on the prevention of CVD among individuals with diabetes from the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) notes that nutritional patterns like the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), Mediterranean, low-fat, or monitored carbohydrate diet are effective for regulating glucose and decreasing CVD risk factors. A variety of eating patterns are acceptable for the management of diabetes; emphasis should be placed on:

  • Increasing consumption of nonstarchy vegetables

  • Minimizing added sugars and refined grains

  • Selecting whole foods over highly processed foods to the degree possible

In addition, moderation of alcohol intake, avoidance of unhealthy fats and sugars, regular physical activity, and weight management have been shown to reduce triglycerides by 20-50%.

Data on the impact of dietary supplementation with antioxidant vitamins, B vitamins, or fatty acid on CVD risk reduction among individuals with T2D have been inconsistent. Some studies have shown CVD risk reduction when supplements are added to a healthy diet, but there are no large-scale, randomized trials in patients with T2D.

Evidence-based nutritional guidelines for the prevention and management of diabetes have been issued, including those from Diabetes UK and the ADA. In addition, recent guidelines from the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) recommend a Mediterranean diet supplemented with olive oil and/or nuts to reduce the incidence of major cardiovascular events, based on results from the Prevención con Dieta Mediterránea (PREDIMED) study showing that such a diet reduced the incidence of major cardiovascular events among high-risk individuals, including those with diabetes.

Learn more about interventions to reduce CVD risk in T2D.


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