Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the name given to a group of disorders of the heart and blood vessels that include hypertension, coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease and peripheral arterial disease. They are the number one cause of death globally. Diabetes is a key risk factor for CVD, with people living with diabetes (PwD) being two to three times more likely to develop CVD than people who don’t.
High levels of blood glucose can make a person’s blood coagulation system more active which increases the risk of forming blood clots. Diabetes is also associated with high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular complications such as angina, coronary artery disease (CAD), myocardial infarction, stroke, peripheral artery disease (PAD) and congestive heart failure.
In a survey of people living with Type 2 Diabetes conducted by the International Diabetes Federation, in conjunction with Novo Nordisk, 1 in 10 people reported that they were unaware of CVD and the dangers associated with it. Additionally, over 9 in 10 of respondents had one or more CVD risk factors. This underlines the needs to ensure that PwD attend regular check-ups to prevent or delay CVD.
Resources on diabetes and CVD
- World Heart Day 2021 – Interview with Dr José Manuel Boavida
- European Society of Cardiology – Guidelines and Scientific Documents
- IDF Advocacy Toolkit: CVD in Diabetes
- IDF Multi-country study on CVD awareness
- IDF Diabetes and CVD Report
- Free online course for health professionals on diabetes and CVD
- Webinar : Supporting ambitious Diabetes and CVD Roadmaps in the context of the ‘Healthier Together – EU NCD Initiative’
- Event report: Joint health checks for CVD and diabetes – Exhibition at the European Parliament