A significant complication of diabetes is damage to blood vessels.
In a healthy person the blood vessels are clear of blockages and they are soft. In a person with diabetes the blood vessels become hard and blocked quite quickly. This is known as atherosclerosis and can lead to coronary heart disease, heart attacks and stroke.
High blood pressure is associated with heart and artery complications.
When the heart (coronary) arteries stiffen and become clogged, they cannot take enough blood to the heart muscles and parts of the heart begin to die. The heart then struggles to pump out the blood all day every day, and eventually gives up – that is, the person has a heart attack.
- Rizwana Kousar 2010. What is Diabetes? Community Education Series, Melbourne. © Australian Community Centre for Diabetes (ACCD).