Diabetes Voice

Diabetes Voice is the online magazine of IDF. It covers the latest developments in diabetes care, education, prevention, research, health policy and economics, as well as themes related to living with diabetes. Diabetes Voice goes to the heart of issues that are crucial to all those who can further the promotion of diabetes care, prevention, and a cure worldwide.

Editor-in-Chief: Dr Douglas Villarroel (Bolivia)

Diabetes Voice was made available as a print and digital magazine until 2018. It is now available as a digital platform at diabetesvoice.org.

Archive content of the magazine until March 2018 is available below.

Issue: Working together to tackle diabetes
Section: The global campaign

IDF and CVD: Getting to the heart of the matter

Last update: 03/04/2018

The rising tide of diabetes around the globe is generating a greater increase in those at risk or living with untreated cardiovascular disease (CVD). Living with diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD) is considered a double-jeopardy for the health of an individual and is predicted to result in increased complications worldwide, including cardiovascular complications, unless preventive action is taken.1 People living with type 2 diabetes are especially at increased risk of CVDs and associated clinical complications.2,3 Given diabetes and CVD are currently among the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide, particularly among populations in low- and middle-income populations, there is a great urgency to change the upward trajectory.4,5

IDF is putting concentrated efforts toward the fight against cardiovascular diseases. In October 2016, IDF released a global report on Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease , which included recommendations to reduce the burden of CVD amongst people with diabetes, and indeed the whole population, as follows:

  • Facilitating improved CVD patient education: public health measures to promote healthy diets, increased physical activity, and smoking cessation among people living with diabetes.
  • Identification of those at risk and related health policies: prioritising good blood pressure control in people with diabetes and urging national government implementation of non-communicable disease (NCD) monitoring systems.
  • Treatment of the early signs of CVD associated with diabetes: improving access to essential medicines.
  • Building awareness and expertise on CVD and diabetes: establishing a consensus on design of future studies on CVD in diabetes, to better compare progress in different areas.

Building the evidence base on the burden of diabetes and CVD is essential to drive urgent political action and as a result, help improve the health of people with diabetes and other NCDs. Currently, IDF is working on several forefronts to address these recommendations.

IDF Global CVD Survey

TD2H social media ENTaking Diabetes to Heart is a patient survey on CVD risk awareness and knowledge, which is aimed to further support the development of tools, educational resources, and policies designed to allow the implementation of the above recommendations. For instance an animated video with fictive story inspired by reality was developed to bring attention to the often-ignored linkage between diabetes and CVD. The multi-cultural study is available in nearly 30 languages, and data collection is still open until 31 May 2018. The interim results from the first nearly 1,000 respondents from December 2017 already show that 1 in 3 respondents considered themselves to be at low risk of CVD and 1 in 6 respondents had never discussed type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular risk with a healthcare professional.6

“From the interim results, we can already see a trend in the lack of awareness of the link between type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease among people with type 2 diabetes,” said Professor Nam Cho, President of IDF. “Following analysis of the full results, we hope to gain more valuable insights that can be used to inform strategies and tangible actions for promoting change in the diabetes community.”

Online Course for Healthcare Professionals

SC CVD imageThe IDF School of Diabetes has recently launched an online short course on diabetes and CVD targeting healthcare professionals caring for people with diabetes. The module aims to discuss the link between diabetes and cardiovascular disease, reviews types of CVD complication, its pathophysiology, screening and diagnostic tests and management strategies for CVD complications.

The course is freely accessible without any fees, after registering at the IDF School of Diabetes . The course takes one hour to be completed and is comprised of several parts: initial self-evaluation and pre-test; training on diabetes and CVD module; and finishing with the post-test and a final self-evaluation. On successful completion, participants are awarded with a Certification of Completion and 1 European CME credit (ECMEC®). Since February 2018, over one-hundred fifty enrollees have given the course an average rating of 4.6 out of 5.

In continuation of these efforts, IDF will shortly launch an online interactive diabetes and CVD educational and awareness tool targeting people with or at risk of type 2 diabetes, caregivers, and the public. The tool aims to guide people through a process that generates insightful conclusions, increases knowledge, encourages positive lifestyle, and empowers people with diabetes to improve self-management decisions and actions.

Advocacy Toolkit

CVD toolkit button 250pxIDF has developed a CVD in Diabetes advocacy toolkit for people living with diabetes and CVD, their caregivers, patient organisations, the media and local and national health authorities to advocate on helping to reduce the incidence of CVD in diabetes. This toolkit highlights relevant IDF, World Health Organization (WHO) and World Heart Federation (WHF) policies and key messages on CVD in diabetes. The toolkit provides an outline on how to develop a customised advocacy plan in seven steps, tailored to local context and environment and it includes a comprehensive package consisting of an elevator pitch, fact sheet and recommended solutions. To bring further attention to CVD in Diabetes, IDF created an advocacy video where people living diabetes from the seven IDF regions share about their experience on living with diabetes and the risk of CVD.

Suvi Karuranga is the Epidemiology Manager at the International Diabetes Federation. She holds an MPH from the Lund University and BSc in public health nursing from Turku University of Applied Sciences.

Anne Wiebke Ohlrogge is a Junior Professional Officer in the Global Partnerships department of the International Diabetes Federation. She has a Bachelor and a Master Degree of Science in European Public Health (Governance & Leadership) from Maastricht University.

Sameer Pathan is the Education Project Coordinator at the International Diabetes Federation. He holds a Diploma in Public Health Management from the Indian Institute of Public Health, Delhi and Bachelor of Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery from Maharaja Krishnakumarsinhji Bhavnagar University.

Els Sung is a Junior Professional Officer in the Policy and Programmes department of the International Diabetes Federation. She holds a BSc in Health Policy and Management from the Erasmus University of Rotterdam and a MSc in Global Health from Maastricht University.


  1. International Diabetes Federation. 'IDF Diabetes Atlas'. 8th edition. Brussels, Belgium: International Diabetes Federation, 2017. Available at: http://www.diabetesatlas.org/. Last accessed: March 2018
  2. British Heart Foundation. Diabetes and your heart. Available at: https://www.bhf.org.uk/publications/heart-conditions/diabetes-and-your-heart. Last accessed: March 2018
  3. Diabetes UK. Cardiovascular disease. Available at: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/guideto-diabetes/complications/cardiovascular_disease. Last accessed: March 2018
  4. Leon B, Maddox T. Diabetes and cardiovascular disease: Epidemiology, biological mechanisms, treatment recommendations and future research. World J Diabetes. 2015 6: 1246-1258
  5. World Health Organization. Global health risks: mortality and burden of disease attributable to selected major risks. Geneva, Switzerland. 2009. Available at: http://www.who.int/healthinfo/global_burden_disease/GlobalHealthRisks_report_full.pdf Last accessed: March 2018
  6. International Diabetes Federation. Interim results of first-ever global survey show people with type 2 diabetes underestimated their cardiovascular risk. Available at: https://www.idf.org/news/97:news-td2h-interim-results.html. Last accessed: March 2018
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