Heart Disease Risk Reduction Plan

By: Mitchell Povich


As a diabetic and a person at high risk for heart disease, precautions must be taken in many aspects of one's life in order to be safe. In this patient's case, insulin needs to be taken every time it is needed, diet needs to be adjusted to healthier options, and the consumption of alcohol needs to be reduced.

Problem 1: Insulin

As a diabetic, remembering to take one's insulin may be the difference between life and death. People with diabetes are 2 to 4 times more likely to develop some sort of heart condition. People with diabetes normally have higher levels of LDL and triglycerides, and low levels of HDL. This combination of factors can lead to plaque build-up in arteries, which can lead to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), and eventually heart attack or stroke. One solution to this problem could be the purchase of an insulin pump, which automatically injects insulin when needed. One of these pumps can be obtained online, and because the patient is a type-1 diabetic, the insulin and pump will be covered under their insurance if they have it.

Problem 2: Diet

The second problem present in the patients current lifestyle is their diet. While eating anything one feels like seems like a good idea at the time, it may cost one their life eventually. High levels of fats can lead to high cholesterol which can build up and cause heart attack or stroke. Also, high levels of sodium can raise one's blood pressure, causing arteries to become scarred. These scarred arteries are more prone to plaque build-up, creating a greater risk for heart attack. A very simple solution to this problem is monitoring how much fat and sodium one takes in. Over time, diet restrictions may become more intense, but at the start monitoring the two most detrimental things is good. Per day, one should only take in 2.3 grams of sodium, and 70 total grams of fats.

Problem 3: Alcohol Intake

While alcohol consumption can actually be beneficial in moderation, this idea of moderation is incredibly important. In this patients case, going to the pub every night can be okay, as long as they limit themselves to two drinks per night. In this case, a drink is serving of some sort of alcohol that contains 14 grams of pure alcohol. An excess of alcohol can cause high blood pressure, which can also lead to heart attack and stroke, but in moderation it has little negative effects. Eventually, it would probably be good to completely remove alcohol from one's diet, but quitting cold turkey is much more difficult than slowly weening off of something.