Cardio-Diabetes Think Tank: Call To Action
Advancing action through patient collaboration
The Global Heart Hub, in collaboration with leading representatives of key international CVD and Diabetes patient, nursing, primary and secondary care organisations, has developed this patient-led Call to Action to focus a spotlight on patient care for type 2 diabetes and CVD.
This Call to Action aims to galvanise the cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes communities to advocate for increased attention and new strategies to address the critical interrelationship between these two conditions. It establishes specific tangible actions which are needed to elevate this issue across all stakeholders with the aim of improving care and patient outcomes.
Why is it important?
Across the world, people with type 2 diabetes often do not have access to diagnosis and treatment of their condition. Of serious concern is that one in two adults with diabetes is unaware of their condition globally. Even when diagnosed, people with diabetes are often not aware of their CVD risk and common risk factors are often inadequately managed. The lack of optimal intervention leads to delayed diagnoses, poorer outcomes and, ultimately, hospitalisations, morbidity and mortality that could have been prevented.
Two years after my heart attack, I discovered I had Type 2 Diabetes, but it took another seventeen years to realise the link between the two. Neither my primary care physician, nor my cardiologist, made me aware that there was a connection. I wish now that I had had their support to help me to take more control of my conditions.
This report really reflects my personal experience and, if the recommendations are implemented, I think that the benefits will be huge. Patients and doctors must start working together as partners so that patients can be empowered to improve and manage their health.
I have had Type 2 Diabetes for about twenty years. I was very surprised to recently learn from a patient organisation that my diabetes puts me at greater risk of heart disease. My diabetes is really well looked after by the health service – for example, I have regular foot checks and eye checks – yet nobody ever mentioned or checked my heart.
I feel it’s vitally important to get the word out about the connection between these health issues.
We thank colleagues from cardiovascular and diabetes organisations across the world for their vital input in taking this issue forward. The actions identified in this report, such as the policy and educational resources described, require significant effort to develop and implement in everyday settings.
We acknowledge in turn the substantial earlier contributions from other leading global policy commentators, such as the World Heart Federation and the International Diabetes Federation. We at the Global Heart Hub are delighted to play our part in building on this work and providing clear focus on key priorities from the patient perspective.