Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death among people with Type 2 diabetes. The risk of death from CVD is twice as high for men and six times higher for women with diabetes than for people without diabetes. Most people with Type 2 diabetes suffer from Insulin Resistance Syndrome (IRS), including insulin resistance, high blood sugar, abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, and cholesterol problems. The cholesterol problems and excess blood pressure associated with insulin resistance and the excess glycosylation and clotting caused by high blood sugars magnify the high rates of CVD already found in the general population.
To prevent CVD and excess deaths from heart disease, all aspects of the IRS that are present must be treated aggressively. Although improved blood sugar control helps in small ways, the prevention of CVD comes mostly through treatments directed at the underlying cholesterol, blood pressure, and clotting problems associated with this syndrome.
This article from Mathew Garza over at diaTribe has some great information about fighting diabetes, heart disease, and the stigma attached to them both.