Two out of three diabetics have risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, says report by International Diabetes Federation
More awareness needed on fatal risks of heart diseases for diabetics
A study carried out by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) found that 2 out of 3 people with type 2 diabetes are also at risk of developing cardiovascular diseases (CVD), and many are unaware of this risk.
Out of the 12,695 surveyed for the Taking Diabetes to Heart survey 1 in 4 had never discussed CVD risk factors, which include high blood pressure, uncontrolled blood glucose levels and high cholesterol. Risks also include experiencing a heart attack, stroke, angina or heart failure.
"These survey findings confirm our concerns about the increasing global prevalence of diabetes and its associated complications,” said IDF President Professor Nam H Cho.
“Awareness of the risks and consequences of the disease remains pitifully low and education to address diabetes complications is lacking.”
He urged governments to invest in measures that could detect type 2 diabetes early on. Health professionals should also be trained to guide people into making positive changes with regards to their lifestyle, and to better manage their diabetes.
“This will help people to avoid disabling and life-threating diabetes complications,” he added.
Moreover, 3 in 4 of those surveyed said they relied on CVD information from their doctors only, and more than half said they needed more information about the risk factors in order to prevent it from developing.
Diabetes currently affects 425 million adults worldwide, with most cases being type 2 diabetes, whose leading cause of death or disability is driven by CVDs. Such diseases include stroke, coronary heart disease and peripheral artery disease.
"Cardiovascular disease can have a devastating impact on the lives of people with type 2 diabetes and their families," said Professor Stephen Gough, global chief medical officer of Novo Nordisk, which co-conducted the study.
"The IDF survey findings are striking and reinforce the importance of raising awareness of CVD risk and its impact on people living with type 2 diabetes.”
“We are committed to continue working with IDF while utilising these global findings to inform future efforts that can help improve health outcomes,” he added.
Taking Diabetes to Heart will issue a report on the findings, to help support knowledge and awareness of CVD among people with type 2 diabetes and those at risk around the world. The study has been conducted to mark World Heart Day on September 29.