Diabetes is the Leading Contributor to Heart Disease, Adult Blindness and Kidney Failure.
AURORA, Colo. -- Dr. M. Eugene Sherman, M.D. and Dr. Sowmya Surya, M.D. recently presented information to the public as part of the series "Attack Heart Disease Before it Attacks You!" sponsored by The Medical Center of Aurora. There are 4100 new cases of diabetes, 810 deaths, 230 amputations and 120 cases of kidney failure every 24 hours in the United States.
Held in the Aurora City Council Chambers, this session was the third in a four-part series and focused on the connection between diabetes and heart disease. Other sessions in the series have dealt with Cardiovascular Disease in Women and CVD and its connection to Erectile Dysfunction.
"With the dramatic reduction in cigarette smoking over the years, diabetes is now the leading contributor to heart disease," said Dr. Sherman. "There has been increased awareness of diabetes among the public, but what they don't realize is its direct relation to cardiovascular disease. It's a dramatic growing concern now more than ever."
According to the speakers, more than 20.8 million Americans suffer from diabetes at an annual cost of $132 billion. And during a 15-year period, from 1990 to 2004, the number of Coloradoans with diabetes has grown from less than 10 percent to near 20 percent.
"Not only is diabetes the leading cause of cardiovascular disease," said Dr. Surya, "but it is also the #1 cause of adult blindness and the #1 cause of kidney failure."
Americans have become complacent about cardiovascular disease. According to a Harris interactive poll published in the Pfizer Journal:
* 57% do not believe they are at "much risk"
* 41% do not believe CVD is a killer
* 76% say they try to maintain healthy weight, but only 36% actually do
* 68% say they try to exercise regularly, but only 19% actually do
* 60% say they try to avoid high-fat, high-cholesterol foods, but only 10% follow national nutritional guidelines
"We cannot underestimate the effect diabetes plays on our system," say Doctors Sherman and Surya. "If someone has diabetes, they have the same risk of a heart attack as someone who has already had one heart attack but did not have diabetes."
The clinical impact of diabetes is:
* A two- to four-fold increase in cardiovascular mortality
* The leading cause of new cases of end stage renal disease
* The leading cause of new cases of blindness in working-aged adults
* The leading cause of non-traumatic lower extremity amputations
There are many ways to manage diabetes and your cardiovascular health. A good place to start is to be sure you are aware of the symptoms and other factors. These can be found on The Medical Center of Aurora web site www.auroramed.com. Also, be sure to see your medical care team regularly as diabetes and cardiovascular disease can be detected at an early, manageable level.
About The Medical Center of Aurora
The Medical Center of Aurora is noted as a market leader in cardiovascular services, is an HCA "Cardiovascular Center of Excellence," and with the Aurora Fire Department and rural Metro Ambulance Company was the founder of the nationally recognized "Cardiac Alert" program. The Medical Center of Aurora is a Level II trauma center and has three campuses--the main campus at I-225 and Mississippi, north Campus at 6th and I-225, and Centennial Medical Plaza at Arapahoe and Jordan roads. Other areas of special focus include neurosciences, orthopedics, surgical services, oncology, and women's services.
HealthONE LLC, the largest healthcare system in metro Denver, is a joint venture between various affiliates of HCA and the Colorado Health Foundation (formerly HealthONE Alliance), a Colorado nonprofit organization.
For more information about The Medical Center of Aurora, visit www.auroramed.com or call 303-695-2600.