(HealthDay)—People with diabetes are at risk for vascular complications due to high blood sugar levels, but can take measures to reduce that risk, an expert says.
"Diabetes is one of the strongest risk factors for any form of vascular disease, both symptomatic and asymptomatic," Dr. Gregory Moneta, chief of vascular surgery at Oregon Health and Science University's Cardiovascular Institute, said in a Society for Vascular Surgery news release.
"Those with diabetes should have regular doctor visits and tests, and may need to see specialists such as ophthalmologists, vascular surgeons and podiatrists for checkups," he added.
Vascular complications caused by diabetes include diabetic eye disease, peripheral artery disease (impaired circulation in the legs), peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage) and foot ulcers, heart attack and kidney failure.
Steps to prevent these complications includes: regular eye exams; exercise; proper footwear and frequent foot checks; maintaining healthy weight and blood sugar and cholesterol levels, quitting smoking, regular checkups, and seeing a doctor when experiencing problems such as leg pain, chest pain.
November is National Diabetes Awareness Month.
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The American Diabetes Association has more on diabetes complications.