To mark World Heart Day on 29 September, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) in partnership with Novo Nordisk announced results from the Taking Diabetes to Heart survey.
The global survey investigated cardiovascular disease (CVD) awareness among 12,695 people with type 2 diabetes and revealed that 2 in 3 had CVD risk factors such as high blood pressure, uncontrolled blood glucose levels and high cholesterol and/or had experienced a CVD event such as angina, heart attack, stroke or heart failure.
However, 1 in 4 respondents had never discussed, or cannot remember discussing, CVD risk factors with a doctor and only 1 in 4 considered themselves to be at low risk of CVD.
Commenting on the findings, IDF President Professor Nam H. Cho said: “These survey findings confirm our concerns about the increasing global prevalence of diabetes and its associated complications. Awareness of the risks and consequences of the disease remains pitifully low and education to address diabetes complications is lacking. We urge governments to invest in measures to detect type 2 diabetes early and ensure that health professionals are trained to guide people to make positive changes to their lifestyle and better manage their diabetes. This will help people to avoid disabling and life-threating diabetes complications.”
Diabetes currently affects 425 million adults worldwide, with most cases being type 2 diabetes. CVD, which includes stroke, coronary heart disease, and peripheral artery disease, is the leading cause of disability and death in people with type 2 diabetes.
In the Taking Diabetes to Heart survey, 3 in 4 people with type 2 diabetes said they relied on information about CVD from their doctor. More than half of respondents said they needed more information about the risk factors associated with the development of CVD to better understand the risks in order to help prevent them.
“Cardiovascular disease can have a devastating impact on the lives of people with type 2 diabetes and their families,” said Professor Stephen Gough, the global chief medical officer of Novo Nordisk.
“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 continuing working with IDF while utilizing these global findings to inform future efforts that can help improve health outcomes.”
Taking Diabetes to Heart will culminate in a comprehensive report with regional and country-specific results and resources to help support knowledge and awareness of CVD among people with type 2 diabetes and those at risk around the world.