man lying in a hospital bed holding wife's hand

Men know that they need to keep heart health in mind, especially after the age of 65. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), just over a million men died of heart disease in 2003 — roughly 80 percent of all men who died that year. But while attention is often paid to heart disease, stroke, and cancer, there’s one serious ailment that’s often dismissed as nothing more than an increasingly common nuisance — diabetes. But the disease has often been called a silent killer because over a third of diabetics don’t even know they have it. Being unaware of symptoms or worse, failing to take steps to control diabetes, can have disastrous consequences.

While it’s easy to dismiss diabetes as a manageable disease and thus not a serious one, for those who don’t know they have it or don’t treat it properly when they do, it can create real problems, such as damaging internal organs and worsening heart disease. Those that die of heart disease actually are 2 to 4 times more likely to have diabetes, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. The risk of stroke is also 2 to 4 times higher in diabetics,

This is to say nothing of other serious complications, such as diabetes being the leading cause of kidney failure and new cases of blindness in adults between 20 and 74. If you find yourself experiencing frequent urination, sudden weight loss, extreme hunger and thirst, and blurry vision, don’t hesitate — get to the doctor, STAT, as these are indicators of diabetes and need to be checked out.