Many people in Wales do not know that diabetes increases the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke, new research has found.
A survey by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) found just 37% of adults in Wales were aware of the link between diabetes and heart disease whilst only 32% knew about the link to strokes.
stokes per week in the UK contributed to by diabetes
heart attacks per week in the UK contributed to by diabetes
People who have diabetes are twice as likely to suffer a stroke and nearly two and a half times as likely to suffer a heart attack. They are also two to three times more likely to develop vascular dementia.
BHF Cymru say the findings point to a continuing lack of awareness of the consequences poorly controlled diabetes has on the heart and circulatory system.
Around 195,000 adults have been diagnosed with diabetes in Wales.
number of adults diagnosed with diabetes in Wales
The condition can progress for years, damaging the heart and blood vessels, without noticeable symptoms.
The BHF says a lack of knowledge of the effects of diabetes could be holding people back from properly managing their condition.
Just two in five people with Type 2 diabetes are meeting the recommended treatment targets that will reduce their risk of complications.
BHF Cymru saus better awareness could save lives.
There's no doubt that people vastly underestimate the danger of diabetes, and this could be costing lives. The condition significantly increases the risk of dying from heart disease and stroke, and research has shown that it can also contribute to the development of dementia.