Diagnosis of Heart Disease

How do doctors diagnose heart disease in diabetes?

Doctors diagnose heart disease in diabetes based on

  • your symptoms
  • your medical and family history
  • how likely you are to have heart disease
  • a physical exam
  • results from tests and procedures

Tests used to monitor your diabetes—A1C, blood pressure, and cholesterol—help your doctor decide whether it is important to do other tests to check your heart health.

Source: NIDDK (NIH)1

   •   •   •

Back to: « Heart Disease

   •   •   •

Some Medical Tests

Your doctor will check your blood pressure and do a blood test to check your cholesterol, a fat that can add to plaques in your arteries. He or she might also do a blood test for CRP (c-reactive protein) and suggest you have an ECG or EKG, an electrocardiogram. This is a test that looks at electrical activity in your heart.

Source: NIA (NIH)2

   •   •   •

How do I know if I have heart disease?

The most common symptom of heart disease is chest pain or discomfort. However, some women who have coronary artery disease (CAD) have no symptoms. This is called silent CAD. Silent CAD may not be diagnosed until a woman has symptoms of a heart attack, heart failure, or an arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat).

Call 911 right away if you have the symptoms of a heart attack. Talk to your doctor or nurse if you have any other symptoms of heart disease.

Source: OWH (DHHS)3

Tests for Heart Disease

Cardiac catheterization: Doctors use a procedure called cardiac catheterization to diagnose and treat certain heart conditions. They ease a thin flexible tube, or catheter, through blood vessels, usually beginning in the arm, neck or leg and ending in specific areas of the heart.

To make sure the catheter is reaching the right spot, surgeons often use special X-ray “movies” that show the tube’s movement. The movies use low, generally safe doses of radiation. But the X-rays can pose risks to children and people who undergo long or repeated procedures.

Source: NIH News in Health (NIH)4

   •   •   •


  1. Source: NIDDK (NIH): niddk.nih.gov/ health-information/ diabetes/ overview/ preventing-problems/ heart-disease-stroke
  2. Source: NIA (NIH): nia.nih.gov/ health/ heart-health
  3. Source: OWH (DHHS): womenshealth.gov/ heart-disease-and-stroke/ heart-disease/ heart-disease-and-women
  4. Source: NIH News in Health (NIH): newsinhealth.nih.gov/ issue/ oct2012/ capsule2

   •   •   •

Note: This site is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. See your doctor or other qualified medical professional for all your medical needs.