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Women with diabetes are much more likely to have heart attacks, angina or heart surgery than men with diabetes.
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Sherri Dmyterko: RoseAnn Pacheco is not in a hurry. But, she is trying to stay on track. After being diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes a year ago, RoseAnn decided she needed to take charge of her disease, and enrolled in the Diabetes Exercise and Healthy Lifestyle Service at Toronto Rehabs Cardiac Rehabilitation and Secondary Prevention Program.
RoseAnn Pacheco: I was actually quite angry with myself. I mean, being a nurse I felt I should have known better. I knew I wasn't eating properly, I certainly knew I wasn't doing enough exercise. I certainly knew my weight was going up, and I should have really been on top of that, and I wasn't.
Sherri Dmyterko: Diabetes affects two million Canadians about half of whom are women. But many women are not finding the time to properly manage their disease.
Catherine Statton: Seems to be more of a struggle for women to put in place. The things they need to do to really take charge of the diabetes. They are raising family of their own. They are taking care of their in-laws or their own parents, and then by the time it gets to the end of the day, there is no time to satisfy for women to take care of themselves.
Sherri Dmyterko: Diabetes is a progressive disease, and a difficult one to manage. Even after diagnosis, it can also lead to life threatening complications.
Catherine Statton: When they did the research, they found those with diabetes are at four times the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. So if someone is going through or their life with uncontrolled blood checkers or uncontrolled diabetes, they are at a great risk of heart attack or stroke. If patients can manage their blood sugar is quite tightly, their wrist diminishes quite significantly.
Sherri Dmyterko: Once a week, patients attend Toronto Rehabs Diabetes Service and learn how to make exercise part of their daily routine, and how to make the necessary lifestyle modifications to take control of their disease, and of their lives.
Catherine Statton: Our preliminary research shows that those that participate in our six month exercise program, they are at a reduced risk for heart attack or stroke.
RoseAnn Pacheco: We all think, well, I am 50, I am 60, I am 40. It's too late what's going to happen is happened. You can't actually reverse damage that's happened and you can certainly prevent and that's the key, prevent anything that might happened from happening. So I think that that's really the key, that it's never too late to start.
Catherine Statton: Typically, our patients when they come through the program they experience a feeling of greater energy, they experience greater strength, greater endurance.
RoseAnn Pacheco: This program has forced me to realize that, if I don't take care of myself then I am not helping my children. If I am giving them bad examples, and I may not be there for them. You got to make the time and it's really, really help me.