The critical link between diabetes and heart disease — is now more than ever, an important topic of discussion. Knowing the link can save your life.
The “For Your SweetHeart” campaign, spearheaded by Boehringer Ingelheim (Philippines), Inc. in partnership with medical societies and patient groups, urges Filipinos diagnosed with diabetes to be aware of the link between diabetes and cardiovascular disease and how to manage the condition properly. In addition, diabetes, with the presence of its complications, has been identified as a risk factor for increased severity of COVID-19 and poor outcome.
One of the long-term complications of diabetes is cardiovascular disease. According to a follow-up study among patients who participated in the World Health Organization (WHO) Multinational Study of Vascular Disease in Diabetes, a staggering 52% of deaths in Type 2 Diabetes patients are due to cardiovascular disease—confirming that Type 2 Diabetes is a cardiovascular disease equivalent. Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death for patients with diabetes.
Patients with diabetes are two to four times more likely to develop heart disease. Over time, uncontrolled high blood sugar can damage blood vessels and nerves, leading to the heart and ultimately raise blood pressure levels. Diabetes also increases the level of bad cholesterol. All of these factors increase the risk of heart disease in patients with diabetes. The three types of heart disease that patients with diabetes commonly develop are coronary heart disease, heart failure, and diabetic cardiomyopathy.
According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), as of May 2020, there are nearly four (4) million reported cases of diabetes in the Philippines. Alarmingly, many living with diabetes do not know of their increased risk for heart diseases.
The “For Your SweetHeart” campaign aims to change that by raising awareness about this link, with the help of TV personality Kim “Kuya Kim” Atienza as the official campaign advocate.
“The campaign is relevant to me because my grandparents had diabetes, and so does my mother. Like many Filipinos, I can relate to how we always want what is best for the health and well-being of our loved ones. I always check up on my mother and make sure she’s leading a healthy lifestyle,” Kuya Kim stated.
Supported by health experts and patient organizations, the campaign will focus on not only patients but also the caregivers.
“It comes naturally for Filipinos to care for our loved ones. The campaign doesn’t just speak to those diagnosed with diabetes but also to the loved ones taking care of them,” said Dr. Greta Cortez, Boehringer Ingelheim (Philippines), Inc.’s Head of Medicine.
“Boehringer Ingelheim has always believed in empowering and equipping both the patients and their loved ones with important information so they can make the best decisions together for their health and well-being,” she continued.
Knowing the link between diabetes and cardiovascular disease can help patients and those taking care of them to determine meaningful and necessary life-changing steps.
“There are ways to minimize the risk of cardiovascular disease for those with diabetes. Being aware of the impact of diabetes on heart health is a critical first step as well as consulting your doctor, so you know the best medical options to manage the disease,” said Dr. Orly Bugarin, President of the Philippine Heart Association and a cardiologist at Twin Hearts Medical Clinic in Balanga, Bataan.
For more information about the connection between diabetes and cardiovascular disease, visit www.foryoursweetheart.ph. The website includes an assessment tool based on the Framingham 10-year Heart Disease Risk Test, which requires details of the patient’s total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and systolic blood pressure.
The “For Your SweetHeart” campaign is supported by the Philippine Heart Association (PHA), Institute for Studies on Diabetes Foundation Inc. (ISDFI), American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE), Philippine Society of Endocrinology Diabetes and Metabolism (PSEDM), Diabetes Philippines (DP), Philippine Association of Diabetes Educators (PADE), Association of Diabetes Nurse Educators of the Philippines, Inc. (ADNEP), and Philippine Alliance of Patient Organizations (PAPO).