Up to 2.4 million people with diabetes are still at risk of dying needlessly of cardiovascular disease (CVD), such as heart disease or stroke, if nothing is done to improve awareness, prevention and treatment. This is the finding of a new Diabetes UK report, out today, 'Diabetes Heartache - the hard reality of cardiovascular care for people with diabetes'.
The report shows that many people are failing to reach the recommended treatment targets for key risk factors such as blood pressure and cholesterol. Currently only 28 per cent of the general public and 47 per cent of people with diabetes realise that diabetes can lead to heart disease. Diabetes is second only to smoking as the leading cause of CVD in the UK.
Diabetes UK calls for people with diabetes to receive improved access to education and appropriate early medical treatment, when necessary, to help significantly improve long-term health.
“This is a national emergency, as half of the people who are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes already show signs of cardiovascular disease at the time of diagnosis," said Simon O’Neill, Director of Care, Information & Advocacy Services at Diabetes UK.
"Heart disease is the most common complication of diabetes.
"It is essential we take immediate steps to ensure people have access to the appropriate care and treatment. We want to see better information for the newly diagnosed as well as improved access to education courses and dietary and lifestyle advice.”
A copy of the report can be downloaded on the right.
This report has been kindly sponsored by Pfizer Ltd. Pfizer Ltd also provided gift-in-kind support for the production of the report. All final approvals stayed with Diabetes UK.