Heart disease, early complication of type 2 diabetes

Cardiovascular conditions or diseases are intimately related to diabetes, an expert said.

“While data from our Department of Health show that heart disease is the leading cause of death and diabetes is just ranked number six, all cardiovascular may have a background of diabetes,” Ariel Miranda, director of Cardinal Santos Cardiovascular Institute said during a press briefing in line with the World Diabetes Day celebration.

Miranda explained that heart failure is an early complication of type 2 diabetes, a condition that is characterized by the high presence of sugar in the blood.

“Cardiovascular diseases and diabetes are intimately related, two out of three people with diabetes will die of cardiovascular disease, 20 percent of heart attacks and 13 percent of strokes can be attributed to diabetes as well,” he said.

The key manifestations of cardiovascular diseases include coronary heart disease, peripheral arterial disease, stroke, and heart failure.

Citing that heart failure is an under-appreciated complication of diabetes, Miranda said its symptoms are common among many Filipinos. They include feeling tired most of the time, shortness of breath during activity, and inability to lie flat in bed comfortably.

“People with diabetes have 2.5 percent higher risk to have heart failure compared with those who don’t have diabetes. In fact, data from the United States show that people with heart failure due to diabetes have poor five-year survival rate for 115,803 adults,” he added.

Compared with other countries in Southeast Asia, Miranda explained that the Philippines has a potent combination for heart failure—diabetes, hypertension, and obesity—as it belongs to the “morbidity” group or classification in terms of heart failure prevalence and population ratio.

“The Philippines is fourth because of our 6.3 percent diabetes prevalence, with one to two percent heart failure prevalence. It is similar to the worldwide heart failure prevalence, but it could increase if there is an increase with body mass index, which usually affects the females,” he said.

Malaysia ranks first with 44 percent diabetes prevalence and 17 percent heart failure prevalence, while Myanmar ranks last with 4 percent diabetes prevalence and no heart failure prevalence.

Apart from being connected to heart diseases, Miranda said new studies show that it is also related to kidney problems.

He pointed out that people or patients may not easily see the direct connection between the three, “but there is actually a cardio-renal axis, which presents a triad—the pump, which is the heart, the pipes, which are the blood vessels, and the filter, which is the kidney.”

He stressed that this triad is important in understanding diabetes and its complications in the new millennia.

“In fact, if you look at the problems of kidney disease in diabetics, there are most likely six to twelve patients to be hospitalized due to chronic kidney disease. Most Filipinos today are being dialyzed because of diabetes,” he said. (PNA)