What does diabetes have to do with cardiovascular health? Adults who have diabetes are 2-4 times more likely to have heart disease or a stroke in their lifetime, and cardiovascular disease is the major cause of morbidity and mortality among diabetics. Heart diseases and stroke are also the leading causes of death and disability among people with type 2 diabetes. In fact, at least 65 percent of people with diabetes die from some form of heart disease or stroke.
Those statistics are powerful and make the connection between diabetes and cardiovascular health very clear. The good news is that unlike age, gender, and heredity, the American Heart Association (AHA) considers diabetes to be one of the major controllable risk factors for cardiovascular disease:
- Tobacco smoking
- High blood pressure
- High blood cholesterol
- Physical inactivity
- Obesity and overweight status
- Diabetes mellitus
People with diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes, are statistically more likely to have other risk factors from the list above, which greatly increases their chances of having a heart attack or stroke.
The key to the successful management of diabetes – or any disease – is for the patient to be engaged and to learn how to self-manage. Clinicians must provide support by supplying easy-to-use tools that can help. HHQI’s new, 45-page Focused BPIP on Disease Management: Diabetes was developed with the busy schedules of home health professionals in mind. It is a condensed version of our larger traditional packages but still contains a wealth of current information, resources and tools for clinicians and patients.
You can now download the focused BPIP on Disease Management: Diabetes – including a 17-page patient workbook and other evidence-based tools – for free from the HHQI website. (Registration on the HHQI website is required to access all BPIPs, but it is quick and free of charge.)