Cardiovascular risk underestimated

by | December 26, 2017

Interim results of an online survey show low levels of awareness and limited dialogue between Type 2 diabetes patients and healthcare professionals.


The interim results of the first-ever multi-country online survey on cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk awareness and knowledge among those living with Type 2 diabetes have found low levels of awareness and limited dialogue between patients and healthcare professionals. The global survey – “Taking Diabetes to Heart” – developed in partnership between the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and pharmaceutical company, Novo Nordisk, runs until March 2018 and is open to everyone with Type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes currently affects 425 million adults worldwide, with most cases being Type 2 diabetes. Cardiovascular disease, which includes stroke, coronary heart disease and peripheral artery disease, is the leading cause of disability and death in those with Type 2 diabetes.

To date, there have been 943 responses to the survey from 32 countries and interim findings show that:

  • One in three respondents living with Type 2 diabetes consider their risk of CVD to be low.
  • Twenty-six percent of respondents had either never learned about CVD or received information on CVD several years following their Type 2 diabetes diagnosis.
  • One in six respondents had never discussed their Type 2 diabetes and CVD risk with a healthcare professional.

“The interim results of Taking Diabetes to Heart reiterate the importance of raising awareness of the association between Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease to promote prevention, timely diagnosis and appropriate treatment to help reduce the current burden that the two conditions represent,” said Dr Shaukat Sadikot, outgoing IDF president. “With the world facing an increase in the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes, better understanding the link between these conditions is needed more than ever.”

Taking Diabetes to Heart aims to gather insights on current gaps in education and CVD risk behaviour among people with Type 2 diabetes, and to put in place advocacy and patient support strategies and tactics to improve health and well-being among populations.

“Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of disability and death among people living with Type 2 diabetes. Too few individuals with diabetes are being informed by healthcare professionals of their cardiovascular risk and the impact that risk may have on their longevity and quality of life,” said Alan Moses, senior vice-president and chief medical officer of Novo Nordisk.

The results of Taking Diabetes to Heart will serve to define the actions that are required to improve the health outcomes of people with Type 2 diabetes. The initiative will culminate in a comprehensive report with country-specific results and resources to help support knowledge and awareness of CVD among people with Type 2 diabetes around the world.

For more information about Taking Diabetes to Heart, visit and for more information about diabetes and CVD, visit




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