3 Sep 2020
SweetHeart campaign drums up link between diabetes, heart disease | Business Mirror
While people experience many challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic, now is the best time to listen to a loved one who has diabetes.
During the “For Your SweetHeart” Webinar, TV personality Kim “Kuya Kim” Atienza, the official campaign ambassador, said that while this is a difficult time for those who are diabetic, it is also the best time for the family to shower them with the love and care that they need.
“This campaign is very close to my heart,” Atienza said who admitted that diabetes runs in the family. Atienza was joined by his mother who is a diabetic. His grandparents had diabetes, too.
Atienza said during this pandemic it is important for family members to learn how to take care of a family member who has diabetes by being supportive and by helping them to make healthy changes.
By encouraging them to adopt a healthy lifestyle, Atienza said that you should be a good example yourself.
“You have to manage it properly with the help of family members. The family has to be in it together. You have to practice it so that the person will follow,” he added.
He said that it is also best to see a doctor for “a lot of Pinoys don’t see a doctor.”
“Like many Filipinos, I can relate to how we always want what is best for the health and well-being of our loved ones. I always check up on my mother and make sure she’s leading a healthy lifestyle,” he added.
A health buff, Atienza said he was also surprised to discover that he had diabetes about “five or six years ago.”
“I was assuming that I was healthy because I was exercising regularly,” he said.
Show your SweetHeart that they are not alone
Dr. Orly Bugarin, President of the Philippine Heart Association, said that the life expectancy of patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) is reduced by 12 years as CVD is a common comorbidity in T2D.
He noted that T2D is increasingly prevalent globally and in the Western Pacific Region.
“There are ways to minimize the risk of cardiovascular disease for those with diabetes. Being aware of the impact of diabetes on heart health is a critical first step as well as consulting your doctor, so you know the best medical options to manage the disease,” Dr. Bugarin said.
Like Atienza, Dr. Bugarin, encourages people to spend more time with their loved ones who have diabetes for it is very difficult for them.
“Restricting their diet and getting them to exercise is really difficult. We really have to join them in their journey. Family support is very important,” he said.
He noted that knowing the link between diabetes and CVD can help patients and their caregivers determine meaningful and necessary life-changing steps.
As a caregiver of a loved one with diabetes, Dr. Bugarin stressed that even the caregiver should be encouraged to adopt lifestyle changes. Find out more about how your loved one is dealing with diabetes so you know how to support them.
Critical link between diabetes and heart disease
The “For Your SweetHeart” campaign, spearheaded by Boehringer Ingelheim (Philippines), Inc. in partnership with medical societies and patient groups, urges Filipinos diagnosed with diabetes to be aware of the link between diabetes and CVD and how to manage the condition properly.
Diabetes, with the presence of its complications, has also been identified as a risk factor for increased severity of Covid-19 and poor outcome. One of the long-term complications of diabetes is CVD.
According to a follow-up study among patients who participated in the World Health Organization (WHO) Multinational Study of Vascular Disease in Diabetes, a staggering 52 percent of deaths in T2D patients were due to CVD, confirming that CVD is the No. 1 cause of death of patients with diabetes.
Patients with diabetes are two to four times more likely to develop heart disease. Over time, uncontrolled high blood sugar can damage blood vessels and nerves, leading to the heart disease and ultimately raise blood pressure levels.
Diabetes also increases the level of bad cholesterol. All of these factors increase the risk of heart disease in patients with diabetes.
The three types of heart disease that patients with diabetes commonly develop are coronary heart disease, heart failure, and diabetic cardiomyopathy.
According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), as of May 2020, there are nearly 4 million reported cases of diabetes in the Philippines. Alarmingly, many of those living with diabetes do not know of their increased risk for heart diseases.
The “For Your SweetHeart” campaign will focus not only patients but on the caregivers as well.
“It comes naturally for Filipinos to care of our loved ones. The campaign doesn’t just speak to those diagnosed with diabetes but also to the loved ones taking care of them,” said Dr. Greta Cortez, Boehringer Ingelheim (Philippines), Inc.’s Head of Medicine.
“Boehringer Ingelheim has always believed in empowering and equipping both the patients and their loved ones with important information so they can make the best decisions together for their health and well-being,” she continued.