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​​Doctor testing diabetes on patientCardiovascular disease is the leading cause of diabetes-related death. People with diabetes are two to four times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease due to a variety of risk factors.

If you have diabetes, you're more likely to have more cholesterol abnormalities — which contributes to cardiovascular disease. Managing your cholesterol, and especially lowering LDL cholesterol, reduces your chance of cardiovascular disease and death. In fact, a person with diabetes who lowers his LDL cholesterol can reduce cardiovascular complications by 20 percent to 50 percent.

Diabet​es mellitus is defined as a fasting blood glucose of 126 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or more. Prediabetes is a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal (a fasting blood glucose level between 100 and 125 mg/dL) but not yet diabetic. Impaired fasting glucose (IFG) and impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) are intermediate states of abnormal glucose regulation between how a body normally uses glucose and diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes. It appears most often in middle-aged adults. Today, however, adolescents and young adults are developing Type 2 diabetes at an alarming rate. It develops when your body doesn't make enough insulin or develops "insulin resistance" and can't make efficient use of the insulin it makes.

Type 1 diabetes usually occurs in children and young adults. In Type 1, the pancreas makes little or no insulin. Without daily injections of insulin, people with Type 1 diabetes won't survive.

Both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes may be inherited. A family history of diabetes can significantly increase the risk of developing diabetes. Untreated diabetes can lead to many serious medical problems. These include blindness, kidney disease, nerve disease, limb amputations and cardiovascular disease (CVD).