Home > Diabetes > Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease Get the Flash Player to see this player. Rate: (Click the stars to rate) Published on Mar 11, 2011 by Jimenez, Views: 841 Diabetes can progress plaque on the inside wall of all blood vessels in the body. Diabetics commonly have high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which contribute to the disease. When this plaque affects the arteries which supply the heart with blood, it causes coronary artery disease and puts you at risk of a heart attack. When it affects arteries in the legs it is called peripheral vascular disease, and when it affects the arteries that supply the brain it can cause a stroke.