Including top tips for people with type 2 diabetes to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease.
A campaign highlighting the risk factors of heart-related health complications has been launched aiming to provide education for people with type 2 diabetes and their families.
The ‘don’t miss a beat in type 2 diabetes’ campaign organised by Novo Nordisk follows repeated warnings from leading healthcare professionals and charities for more action to reduce cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks and strokes, in those living with type 2 diabetes.
According to the International Diabetes Federation two in three people living with type 2 diabetes have cardiovascular disease risk factors, including high blood pressure, uncontrolled blood glucose levels and high cholesterol.
Managing complications caused by type 2 diabetes costs the NHS more than £7 billion each year, with the largest cost for complications linked to cardiovascular disease.
An interactive website with online questionnaire and video animation has been launched to help people assess their risk of developing heart complications. The campaign is fronted by Christopher Biggins, who has type 2 diabetes.
People with type 2 diabetes could reduce their risk of developing cardiovascular disease by meeting targets for blood glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure, working with their healthcare professional in order to achieve this. However, it is estimated that less than half (40%) of people living with type 2 diabetes meet all three targets.
Simon Williams, Head of Communications and Policy at HEART UK said: “Lots of effort goes into raising awareness of type 2 diabetes but we need to move the discussion along to educate people living with the condition about their cardiovascular risk. In the UK, 3.3 million people have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and that number is snowballing. The number of people having heart attacks and strokes could potentially rise significantly over the next 20 years, unless we take urgent action.”
Dr Naresh Kanumilli, a South Manchester GP with a special interest in diabetes and cardiology, and Clinical Champion for Diabetes UK, said: “The effects of cardiovascular disease on the person, their family, and society, cannot be underestimated. For too long, the focus for managing type 2 diabetes has been on managing blood sugars and while that remains an important aspect, cardiovascular risk can no longer be overlooked.
“We need a holistic approach to managing type 2 diabetes that places prevention of cardiovascular disease at the heart of our efforts. There are many simple steps that can be taken to lower a person’s risk, which will see them reap the rewards in terms of their health both now and in the future.”
Six steps to help people living with type 2 diabetes reduce their risk of developing cardiovascular disease by Dr Naresh Kanumilli:
1. Try 30 minutes of exercise, five times a week to raise your heart rate. Walking fast or even gardening counts.
2. Cut down on fatty, sugary and salty foods. Try to have at least two portions of oily fish a week, such as salmon or mackerel.
3. Get support from your GP practice/stop smoking service to help you stop smoking.
4. Attend your appointments with your diabetes team and know your targets for blood pressure, cholesterol and HbA1c.
5. Understand your medication and take as prescribed.
6. If you drink, cut down on alcohol. Stick to less than 14 units a week and have at least 2-3 alcohol-free days in a week.