The American Diabetes Association today released a new resource for physicians: the “Make the Link” Diabetes and Coronary Artery Disease Resource Toolkit for Health Care Professionals. Research shows that people with diabetes are at increased risk for coronary artery disease (CAD) and have heart disease death rates about two- to four-times higher than adults without diabetes.
Caused by a buildup of fatty deposits, or plaque, in coronary arteries, CAD is the most common type of heart disease and the leading cause of death in the U.S., killing nearly 400,000 Americans each year. CAD can be difficult to treat in people with diabetes because they tend to have smaller coronary arteries, more diffuse disease and persistently elevated blood glucose levels, which can increase the rate of complications and long-term safety risks that come with traditional treatments for CAD.
“This toolkit will provide physicians and practitioners with the tools they need to help their patients make the link between diabetes and coronary artery disease,” said John E. Anderson, MD, President, Medicine & Science, American Diabetes Association. “Nearly 26 million Americans with diabetes are at greater risk of having coronary artery disease. These diseases represent two of the most common threats to Americans’ health today. By providing education through this toolkit, we hope to increase awareness so people can take the steps needed to lead healthier lives.”
This toolkit is an activity of the Association’s Make the Link! Diabetes, Heart Disease and Stroke initiative sponsored by Medtronic. It will feature numerous educational resources aimed at heightening awareness of the increase risk for CAD in people with diabetes. Distributed to health care professionals across the country, the kit will include patient handouts and waiting room posters on how to manage type 2 diabetes and CAD, reduce the risk for CAD, change habits and make smart food choices.
“We believe these resources will better enable health professionals to educate their patients about prevention, especially in the cities which we’ve identified as having the highest rates of heart disease and diabetes in the country,” said Martin Rothman, M.D., vice president of medical affairs for Medtronic’s coronary business and a professor of interventional cardiology at Barts Health in London.
The metropolitan areas with the highest rates of deaths due to heart disease and the highest rates of adults diagnosed with diabetes was compiled from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention’s Interactive Atlas of Heart Disease and Stroke and Diabetes Data & Trends. The top 50 U.S. “capitals” for heart disease and diabetes are available at SimplifytheChallenge.com.
According to the research, the top ten metropolitan areas in the U.S. are:
5.Sioux Falls-Mitchell, S.D.
9.Columbus-Tupelo-West Point, Miss.
10.Monroe-El Dorado, La.
For more information about the toolkit, please visit professional.diabetes.org/makethelink.
The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight to Stop Diabetes and its deadly consequences and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. Founded in 1940, our mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit www.diabetes.org. Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.