Novo Nordisk UK has launched a new awareness campaign aimed at people living with type 2 diabetes and their families.
This follows repeated warnings from leading healthcare professionals and charities that more must be done to reduce cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks and strokes, in those living with type 2 diabetes.
The ‘don’t miss a beat in type 2 diabetes’ campaign comprises an informative website, video animation, online Q&A, and is being fronted by Christopher Biggins, who himself lives with type 2 diabetes.
Cardiovascular disease is largely preventable, yet the impact is severe. The cost to the NHS is also severe, with over £7 billion spent each year managing complications caused by type 2 diabetes. The largest cost for complications is cardiovascular disease.
New data from the International Diabetes Federation reveals that two in three people living with type 2 diabetes have cardiovascular disease risk factors such as high blood pressure, uncontrolled blood glucose levels and high cholesterol.
Lifestyle and medication can be used to lower the risk of a person experiencing cardiovascular disease, and people living with type 2 diabetes are encouraged to meet targets for blood glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure, working with their healthcare professional in order to achieve this. Unfortunately, only 40% of people living with type 2 diabetes meet all three targets.
Despite the significant impact, two in three people living with type 2 diabetes have admitted that they need more information about cardiovascular disease and the risks.
Dr Naresh Kanumilli is a South Manchester GP with a special interest in diabetes and cardiology, and Clinical Champion for patient organisation Diabetes UK. He’s backing the campaign and encouraging people living with type 2 diabetes to take steps to reduce their risk.
He 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.”
Dr Avideh Nazeri, Director of Clinical, Medical and Regulatory for Novo Nordisk UK, said: “It is clear that cardiovascular disease is a serious and concerning problem for people living with type 2 diabetes in the UK, and that many do not have the necessary information to better understand their risk.
“The good news is that cardiovascular disease is largely preventable, and we must help people living with type 2 diabetes by giving them the right information at the right time so that they know what they can do to lower their risk.”