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My hubby got diagnosed with diabetes several weeks ago. He’s only on the borderline but we’ve already been trying to improve his situation by making some lifestyle changes. I really didn’t know much about diabetes and so when I got an invite to attend MSD Usapang Diabetes, I readily confirmed.


The talk was held at Romulo Cafe in Makati last July 14, 2015. The two speakers invited to inform us about diabetes and cardiovascular health were Dr. Mary Anne Lim – Abrahan, MD, FPCP, FPSEDM, Professor, Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism from UP-PGH and Dr. Maria Adelaida M. Iboleon-Dy, MD, FPCP, FPCC, FAsCC, Assistant Director and Head of Cardiovascular Medicine, St. Luke’s Medical Center Global City.

The event was organized by MSD, a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. MSD is a trade name of Merck & Co., Inc., with headquarters in Whitehouse Station, N.J., U.S.A.

The talk mainly centered around Type 2 diabetes, which I learned imposes a heavy burden on patients and their families. This means that many things about the patient’s way of life needs to change, and that the host of challenges brought on by the disease will have to be handled head on.

Dr. Mary Anne Lim – Abrahan

I also learned that the complications of diabetes are serious and costly. Studies show that:

  • Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure (44% of new cases)
  • It causes 2- to 4-fold increased risk of cardiovascular death.
  • It is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in adults.
  • It causes 2- to 4-fold increased risk of stroke.
  • It causes 60% – 70% incidence of nervous system damage.
  • It is the leading cause of non-traumatic lower limb amputations.

What surprised me the most was learning that diabetes is actually a close friend of cardiovascular diseases. This was such a cause of alarm for me because my hubby has already had several instances of having high blood pressure.

Dr. Maria Adelaida M. Iboleon-Dy
Dr. Maria Adelaida M. Iboleon-Dy

Why are people with diabetes at increased risk for cardiovascular disease? Simply because insulin resistance is associated with high blood pressure, obesity and abnormal cholesterol.

Did you know that…

  • 2 out of 3 people with diabetes die of heart attack or stroke.
  • If you have diabetes, you are 2 to 4 times more likely to have heart disease or a stroke than if you do not have diabetes.
  • According to CDC, up to 20% of deaths from heart attack and up to 13% of deaths from stroke are related to diabetes.

According to 2009 statistics from the DOH on the Top 10 Causes of Death in the Philippines, 100,908 patients died from diseases of the heart, which is really scary. It has also been predicted that by 2030, the Philippines will rank 9th in the top 10 countries with the most cases of diabetes. The number of Type 2 diabetic Filipinos are continuously increasing.

To help lower the risk for Cardiovascular Disease, the following are recommended:

  • Get active – at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity 5 times a week
  • Control cholesterol – get hold of LDL-C to help your arteries remain blockage-free
  • Eat better – track what you eat: fruits, veggies, fiber-rich foods
  • Manage blood pressure – reduce salt, manage stress and be active
  • Lose weight – especially if a lot of it is at your waist
  • Stop smoking – it damages and hardens your arteries
  • Reduce blood sugar – each percent drop in HbA1c reduces your risk for CVD

There is, of course, the need to take medications prescribed by doctors. However, there has been some concern about any additional risk that might be posed on the cardiovascular system of Type 2 diabetes patients by anti-diabetes drugs.

With diabetes predisposing a patient to develop cardiovascular disease, drugs that will be made available to control blood sugar must not further contribute to this already elevated risk.

This is why in July 2008, USFDA issued a guidance on cardiovascular risk assessment of new antihyperglycemic medications to treat Type 2 diabetes (T2DM). Cardiovascular safety trials were
required for new anti-diabetic drubs, including DPP-4 inhibitors, to demonstrate that the therapy will not result in an unacceptable increase in CV risk.

Because patients already face a great risk for cardiovascular complications, it is really very important to have safe medicines that do not further alleviate the risk. Patients can rest easy knowing that their medicines are both effective and safe, which makes the disease more manageable for them.

So, for those of you who have Type 2 diabetes or have a family member or friend who does, make sure that their medicines have passed the cardiovascular safety trials.

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  1. Thanks for the extra knowledge, Janice! We should really watch what we eat and take good care of our health (all the time)!

  2. This is a great resource. My father has diabetes (not sure w/c type) so I will be sharing this to him and everyone through Facebook. Thanks for putting this up! 🙂

  3. Though no one in the family has diabetes, this is pretty useful info. Thanks for sharing! 🙂
    Nathalie recently posted…Make It FunMy Profile

  4. Diabetes is scary! Good thing there are now awareness campaigns out there that will educate people. This post is very informative, too. I like Dr. Dy, by the way! Heard her talk about once before, too.
    Meikah Ybañez-Delid recently posted…How was I able to live alone before, my little everything?My Profile

  5. I know a lot of people who got active because of diabetes. It’s really nice to have an active lifestyle as well as be educated more on diabetes.
    Franc Ramon recently posted…Incoming: Kagay-An Festival MarathonMy Profile

  6. This is a very good information…I am diabetic and I keep watch of my diet and sugar level 🙂

  7. Diabetes is a scary disease indeed. My father’s side of the family is plagued with it and I’ve seen the bad effects firsthand.
    Rowena Wendy Lei recently posted…Hotel Villa Fontaine Tokyo Shiodome ReviewMy Profile

  8. My husband also has Type 2 Diabetes but he was diagnosed at 24 years old. He’s been taking meds ever since. It’s a good thing he’s the chef of the home as he decides the meals which also suit his diet.
    Louisa recently posted…Kidzania Manila The Ultimate Play City for KidsMy Profile

  9. Everyone should know these information. I’ve heard of lots of people suffering from diabetes, hubby has this in his genes and he is just so careful with what we eat. I hope I won’t develop one nor my kids.
    TweenselMom recently posted…My Circle of Trust – My Trustworthy Source of Safe and Smart Parenting AdvicesMy Profile

  10. My father has type 2 Diabates too. It’s good to know there are campaigns like this.
    Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen recently posted…Discover Hong Kong Summer Fun at Ocean Park, Disneyland and More!My Profile

  11. Prevention is always better than cure. My mom has Type 2 diabetes, too, suffered from a mild stroke in 2009 and underwent quadruple bypass surgery in 2010. She has a lot of medications right now, and we have been carefully monitoring her diet.
    Maria Teresa Figuerres recently posted…Experience Great Winning Moments. Join Great Taste White’s Choose Great, Win Great Promo!My Profile

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