New campaign heightens awareness on diabetes-heart disease link

Amid the urgent focus on COVID-19, the medical industry has also raised the critical link between diabetes and heart disease as an important issue in saving lives.

“For Your SweetHeart” – a campaign spearheaded by Boehringer Ingelheim (Philippines), Inc. in partnership with medical societies and patient groups – cautions Filipinos diagnosed with diabetes of their illness’ link with cardiovascular disease, and urges them to manage the condition properly.

Diabetes, with the presence of its complications, has also been identified as a risk factor for increased severity of COVID-19 and poor outcome. 1 Cardiovascular disease is one of its long-term complications.

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Here are some of the important facts and numbers to highlight:

  • 52% of deaths in Type 2 diabetes patients are due to cardiovascular disease (WHO: World Health Organization Multinational Study of Vascular Disease in Diabetes)
  • Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death for patients with diabetes.2
  • Patients with diabetes are two to four times3 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 3 types of heart disease that patients with diabetes commonly develop are coronary heart disease, heart failure, and diabetic cardiomyopathy.
  • As of May 2020, there are nearly four (4) million reported cases of diabetes in the Philippines.4 (IDF: International Diabetes Federation)

Alarmingly, many living with diabetes do not know of their increased risk for heart diseases.

“52% of deaths in Type 2 diabetes patients are due to cardiovascular disease – WHO”

The “For Your SweetHeart” campaign aims to change that by raising awareness about this link, with the help of TV personality “Kuya Kim” Atienza as the official campaign advocate. Kuya Kim’s mother is living with diabetes and like many Filipinos, he can relate to wanting what’s best for the health and well-being of his loved ones especially his mother.

Supported by health experts and patient organizations, the campaign will focus not only on the patients but also on the caregivers.

“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,” said Dr. Greta Cortez, Boehringer Ingelheim (Philippines), Inc.’s Head of Medicine.

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.

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 Test5 , which requires details of the patient’s total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and systolic blood pressure.

The “For Your SweetHeart” campaign is supported by:

  • 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)
  • Philippine Alliance of Patient Organizations (PAPO)