Survey Reveals Most People Don’t Know Heart Disease Is the No. 1 Killer of People with Type 2 Diabetes

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Boehringer Ingelheim and Lilly launch For Your SweetHeart™, an educational campaign to help bridge knowledge gap and encourage people with type 2 diabetes to know their cardiovascular risk

Physician and host of The Doctors, Dr. Travis Stork, joins the campaign to urge people with type 2 diabetes and their loved ones to take action by taking the Heart You Quiz

A new national survey of more than 1,500 adults, including 501 who have type 2 diabetes, finds that three out of four Americans and two out of every three people with type 2 diabetes don’t know that heart disease is the number one health-related killer of people with type 2 diabetes. The survey also finds more than half (52 percent) of adults with type 2 diabetes do not understand that they are at an increased risk for heart disease and related life-threatening events, such as heart attack, stroke or even death. To address this critical information gap, Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) are launching For Your SweetHeart™: Where diabetes and heart disease meet. The For Your SweetHeart campaign aims to raise awareness of the link between type 2 diabetes and heart disease and to encourage people with type 2 diabetes to know their risk and speak to their healthcare provider, for the sake of their health and the people they cherish the most.

Reaching Millions of Hearts Across the USA

Cardiovascular disease (which includes heart disease and other problems with the heart and blood vessels like heart attacks and strokes) causes approximately two-thirds of deaths in people with type 2 diabetes, making it the number one cause of death. But the good news is, the sooner people understand their risk, the sooner they can talk to their healthcare provider to learn more about the link between type 2 diabetes and potentially life-threatening heart attacks, strokes or even death.

To help raise awareness of this critical issue, Boehringer Ingelheim and Lilly have teamed up with board-certified emergency medicine physician and host of the Emmy award-winning show The Doctors, Dr. Travis Stork, to encourage the millions of people with type 2 diabetes and their “sweethearts” to better understand the connection between diabetes and heart disease.

“In the emergency room, I regularly see people with type 2 diabetes experiencing life-threatening events like heart attacks or strokes,” said Stork. “Few know they are more likely to experience these kinds of complications simply because they have diabetes. I’ve joined the For Your SweetHeart campaign because awareness of heart disease risk is critical for people with type 2 diabetes and their loved ones, and taking action today may help save lives.”

For Stork, it’s also a personal issue that hits close to home. “My grandfather had type 2 diabetes, and from him, I learned a lot about the importance of managing the disease before I ever became a doctor. I urge everyone with type 2 diabetes to visit ForYourSweetHeart.com, take and share the Heart You Quiz to learn about their risk for heart disease, then talk to their healthcare provider.”

People with diabetes have an increased risk of heart disease for a number of reasons, including high blood pressure, abnormal blood lipids and obesity. Uncontrolled diabetes damages blood vessels, making them more prone to injury from high blood pressure and from plaque build-up and inflammation in the arteries. Boehringer Ingelheim and Lilly surveyed 1,505 people on their understanding of the link between type 2 diabetes and heart disease. The survey was comprised of a nationally representative sample including: 1,004 adults 18 years and older in the U.S. and 501 adults 18 years and older in the U.S. who have type 2 diabetes. The survey found:

If people with type 2 diabetes knew they were at increased risk of heart disease, 99 percent responded that they would be likely do something about it. More than 80 percent said they would change their diet/eating habits, exercise and speak with their healthcare provider to decrease their risk of heart disease

Less than 35 percent of people overall and only 41 percent of people with type 2 diabetes surveyed were aware that those with type 2 diabetes are at increased risk for heart attack

“The truth is cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among people with diabetes, but there is hope. The earlier people with diabetes understand this risk, the sooner they become engaged and take action to help reduce their chances of heart attacks, strokes or even death,” said Paul Fonteyne, president and CEO, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. “We’re excited to launch For Your SweetHeart to encourage people with type 2 diabetes to assess their risk through the Heart You Quiz and to speak with their healthcare provider about the link between diabetes and heart disease. The most important thing people can do is know everything they can about their health and encourage their loved ones to do the same.”

“People with diabetes are two to four times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than people without diabetes,” said Mike Mason, vice president, U.S., Lilly Diabetes. “Educating the public about this important health crisis is just another component of our responsibility and commitment to delivering the best care for people with type 2 diabetes. We hope this initiative will encourage people to take action, not only for themselves, but also for their sweethearts.”

About For Your SweetHeart: Where diabetes and heart disease meet

For Your SweetHeart is a U.S. initiative to raise awareness of the link between type 2 diabetes and heart disease and to encourage people with type 2 diabetes to know their heart disease risk and speak to their healthcare provider, for the sake of their health and the people they cherish the most. Learn more about the For Your SweetHeart initiative and take and share the Heart You Quiz at ForYourSweetHeart.com.

The For Your SweetHeart survey was conducted online, between Oct. 24 and Nov. 1, 2016, among a nationally representative sample of n=1,505 respondents, including: n=1,004 adults 18 years and older in the U.S. (including n=364 type 2 diabetes “sweethearts,” or those who know someone with diabetes) and n=501 adults 18 years and older in the U.S. who have type 2 diabetes.

For Your SweetHeart was developed and sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly and Company. Elements of the campaign, including the For Your SweetHeart survey and Heart You Quiz, were reviewed and validated by a steering committee of leading cardiologists and endocrinologists.

Participating medical experts:

Karol E. Watson, M.D., Ph.D., FACC, professor of medicine/cardiology, co-director, UCLA Program in Preventive Cardiology, director, UCLA Barbara Streisand Women’s Heart Health Program

Ty J. Gluckman, M.D., FACC, FAHA, medical director, Clinical Transformation, Providence Heart and Vascular Institute, Portland, Oregon

Matthew Budoff, M.D., professor of medicine, UCLA, Endowed Chair of Preventive Cardiology, program director, Division of Cardiology, Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute

Leigh Perreault, M.D., associate professor of medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes, Affiliate Center for Global Health, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, associate professor of epidemiology, Colorado School of Public Health

Anne Peters, M.D., director, USC Clinical Diabetes Program, professor, Keck School of Medicine of USC

About Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease

Approximately 29 million Americans and an estimated 415 million people worldwide have diabetes, and nearly 28 percent of Americans with diabetes—totaling eight million people—are undiagnosed. In the U.S., approximately 12 percent of those aged 20 and older have diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type, accounting for an estimated 90 to 95 percent of all diagnosed adult diabetes cases in the U.S. Diabetes is a chronic condition that occurs when the body does not properly produce or use the hormone insulin.

Due to the complications associated with diabetes, such as high blood sugar, high blood pressure and obesity, cardiovascular disease is a major complication and the leading cause of death associated with diabetes. People with diabetes are two to four times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than people without diabetes. Approximately 50 percent of deaths in people with type 2 diabetes worldwide and approximately two-thirds of deaths in people with type 2 diabetes in the U.S. are caused by cardiovascular disease. In the U.S., health care costs for managing cardiovascular conditions in patients with diabetes totaled more than $23 billion in 2012.

Having diabetes can shorten a person’s lifespan by as much as six years compared with someone without diabetes.* And having both diabetes and a history of heart attack or stroke can shorten a person’s lifespan by as much as 12 years compared with someone without these conditions.**

* Based on having a history of diabetes at age 60.

** Based on having a history of diabetes and heart attack or stroke at age 60.

Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly and Company

In January 2011, Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly and Company announced an alliance in diabetes that centers on compounds representing several of the largest diabetes treatment classes. This alliance leverages the strengths of two of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies. By joining forces, the companies demonstrate commitment in the care of patients with diabetes and stand together to focus on patient needs.