Background: Diabetes mellitus (DM) caused 1.3 million deaths in 2010, and cardiovascular
disease is the leading cause of mortality of diabetic patients. Cardiovascular disease in DM involves
complex pathophysiology processes, which are promoted by many risk factors.
Objective: Genetic, epigenetic, lifestyle and environmental factors are responsible for the current epidemic
of diabetes and the subsequent increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Over the past years,
targets focusing on the increased risk of cardiovascular events in diabetic patients have attracted significant
Conclusion: Within this review, the roles of insulin resistance, endothelial dysfunction and lifestyle
changes in the development of cardiovascular disease in diabetic patients are discussed. Potential
strategies and challenges in targeting cardiovascular risks in diabetic individuals are also considered.