Diabetes mellitus is a chronic condition that occurs when the body cannot produce enough or effectively use of insulin. Compared with individuals without diabetes, patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus have a considerably higher risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, and are disproportionately affected by cardiovascular disease. Most of this excess risk is it associated with an augmented prevalence of well-known risk factors such as hypertension, dyslipidaemia and obesity in these patients. However the improved cardiovascular disease in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients can not be attributed solely to the higher prevalence of traditional risk factors. Therefore other non-traditional risk factors may be important in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Cardiovascular disease is increased in type 2 diabetes mellitus subjects due to a complex combination of various traditional and non-traditional risk factors that have an important role to play in the beginning and the evolution of atherosclerosis over its long natural history from endothelial function to clinical events. Many of these risk factors could be common history for both diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease, reinforcing the postulate that both disorders come independently from "common soil". The objective of this review is to highlight the weight of traditional and non-traditional risk factors for cardiovascular disease in the setting of type 2 diabetes mellitus and discuss their position in the pathogenesis of the excess cardiovascular disease mortality and morbidity in these patients.
Keywords: Blood pressure; Cardiovascular disease; Dyslipidaemia; Homocysteine; Inflammation; Insulin resistance; Microalbuminuria; Obesity; Postprandial Hyperglycaemia; Type 2 diabetes mellitus.