May 12, 2017
Area(s) of Interest: Chronic Diseases Patient Education Public Health Patient Care
The California Medical Association (CMA) has joined the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease to raise awareness of the co-occurrence of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The program, “Making the Diabetes Heart Connection,” is a partnership that includes the American Heart and Stroke Association, American Medical Women’s Association, California Chronic Care Coalition, California Health Collaborative, American College of Cardiology (CA Chapter), and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The coalition is working to establish May 2017 as Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease Awareness Month here in California and build momentum for a national day of observance.
Fifty-five percent of Californians have diabetes or pre-diabetes – this doubles the risk of heart failure, heart attack, stroke or other cardiovascular disease complications. Less than half of them, however, are aware that they are at a much higher risk for cardiovascular disease. Lack of awareness prevents people with diabetes from addressing risks and improving health. Preventable deaths are tragic evidence of the missed opportunities to improve the overall health of people living with diabetes. A national awareness effort is an important public statement of the problem and commitment to addressing it.
“As we decide how to allocate state funds, we must consider a public health epidemic in California and across the nation,” said Assemblymember Blanca E. Rubio (D-Baldwin Park), speaking at a kickoff event at the California Capitol. “In Los Angeles County, which my district is a part of, Medicare spends a staggering $56 billion to treat people with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.”
Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in the U.S., but exacts an even heavier toll among people with diabetes. People with type 2 diabetes have twice the risk of having a cardiovascular-related hospitalization compared to people without type 2 diabetes.