Skip to Content
Macrovascular diabetes complications are diseases and
conditions of the large blood vessels caused by
diabetes. These complications can occur in blood
vessels in any part of the body.
Factors that can contribute to
macrovascular complications are high blood sugar, insulin resistance,
high blood pressure, smoking, and abnormalities in
Doctors do not understand what causes some people
to develop diabetes complications while others do not. Some people may have
tissue and unidentified factors that are resistant to damage. Lifestyle and
inherited factors may also affect the risk for complications. For
example, if you smoke, you are at higher risk for heart and blood
vessel disease than someone who does not smoke.
diabetes complications include heart disease,
peripheral arterial disease.
People with diabetes are at risk for
heart attack and other heart problems.
If you have
diabetic neuropathy, especially if it affects the
internal organs (autonomic neuropathy), you may not have heart-related symptoms
or may have symptoms that are not typical of heart problems. As a result, you
may not seek medical help early enough to prevent serious problems or even
death. Be sure to seek care very early, even if your symptoms are not serious
and even if you think your symptoms are not related to your heart.
People who have diabetes are more
likely to have a stroke than people who do not have diabetes. Plaque buildup and clot formation cause blockage in
the blood vessels leading to the brain. People with diabetes often have high
blood pressure, which can cause abnormalities in the small blood vessels of the
brain and lead to stroke.
People with diabetes are
at risk for narrowing of the large vessels of their legs. The resulting poor
circulation impairs healing and means that even a minor injury or infection can
develop into a serious infection. If you have
peripheral diabetic neuropathy, you are at increased
risk for injury to your feet and legs. A serious foot infection may travel up
your leg, infect the bones, and may lead to an amputation.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerDavid C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology
Current as ofMay 23, 2016
Current as of:
May 23, 2016
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & David C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
© Copyright 2016 Rush-Copley Medical Center • 2000 Ogden Avenue; Aurora, IL 60504
Main: 630-978-6200 • Physician Referral & Information: 630-978-6700 or 866-4COPLEY (866-426-7539)