Type 2 diabetics 'face higher heart disease risk'
Cairo, December 12, 2011
Cardiovascular diseases are the number one killer among Type 2 diabetes patients, according to a research by global healthcare major MSD.
MSD presented its latest diabetes research and development insights during the Congress of the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), one of the largest international diabetes conferences, held from December 4 to 8.
Dr Nancy Thornberry, senior vice president and franchise head diabetes and obesity at MSD, said: “In the medical community, it has long been believed that only patients who had uncontrolled cholesterol levels and diabetes were at risk. However, our latest research shows that there is a direct link between Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
“Persistent levels of high blood sugar, lead to increased plaque buildup in the arteries meaning that over time, patients with diabetes are at higher risk of cardiovascular diseases, including heart attacks and strokes. Of course, the less controlled a patient’s blood sugar is the higher the risk,” Dr Thornberry said.
The latest MSD research linking diabetes and cardiovascular disease is a crucial finding for the medical community, particularly in light of recent studies undertaken by MSD, which suggest that physicians believe that as many as half of all deaths among diabetes patients are due to heart complications, said an MSD statement.
Additionally, the research shows that around two-thirds of patients advised to take cholesterol lowering agents do not take them due to concerns about the possible side effects of diabetes such as blindness, kidney failure or amputation. This clear disconnect between the real dangers of diabetes and patient awareness is a crucial point that MSD addressed during their symposium, in the hope of generating greater awareness amongst physicians, who can then pass this knowledge along to their patients, it said.
Diabetes is a rapidly growing, worldwide epidemic that currently affects more than 366 million people (over 10 per cent of the world’s adult population), with the highest prevalence for 2011 being in the Middle East and North Africa, according to estimates from the International Diabetes Foundation.
Globally the number of diabetics is expected to reach 552 million by 2030 representing an increase of 50.7 per cent. More alarmingly, with the average annual growth of diabetes increasing by 2.7 per cent a year, diabetes growth rates are actually 1.7 times larger than the annual growth of the total world adult population.
Additionally IDF estimates suggest that one in five people in the Middle East are now living with diabetes, a number expected to increase to 1 in every 3 by 2030. The region spends $5.5 billion annually on diabetes, accounting for 14 per cent of its total health care expenditure, with families with diabetic members spending as much as 15 to 25 per cent of their income on diabetes treatment, the statement said.
MSD also presented a study on how Januvia has helped millions of Muslim patients around the world maintain their glucose levels whilst fasting.
Dr. Harvey Katzeff, global director for scientific affairs – diabetes, MSD Research Labs, said: “Despite healthcare providers’ advice to the contrary, 79 per cent of Muslims with Type 2 diabetes continue to fast. Understanding the reality of these numbers, MSD recognised it was crucial to undertake a study to find the best ways to help these patients maintain their sugar levels while fasting. What our studies discovered was that those patients who were taking Januvia were less likely to suffer from hypoglycemic attacks, than those taking a sulphonylurea.”
"MSD is fundamentally about translating cutting-edge science into medically important products that save, extend and improve lives," said Soren Bo Christiansen, President, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (EEMEA), MSD. "The potential and promise of research and development – for instance in the field of diabetes - is what drives MSD to continue its ` investment in this area. While other healthcare companies are cutting back on R&D, we are reaffirming our commitment to it. Innovation is the only way to create value over the long term for patients, for customers and for shareholders.” - TradeArabia News Service