Protecting Against CVD in Type 2 Diabetes

Clinicians should take an active role in helping their patients with type 2 diabetes protect themselves from developing cardiovascular disease, or CVD, in the future. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) has been well documented as a major cause of morbidity and mortality for individuals with diabetes. Adults with diabetes have a two- to four-fold higher risk of CVD when compared with those without diabetes. “The common conditions coexisting with type 2 diabetes—especially hypertension and dyslipidemia— are clear risk factors for CVD,” says Craig D. Williams, PharmD. “Diabetes itself also confers independent risk of CVD.” The association among diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidemia has been known for many decades, and researchers are continuing to collect more data about the interconnectedness of diabetes and heart disease. There has also been an increased appreciation of the impact of obesity on CVD. The concept that these metabolic abnormalities can cluster in many individuals has led to greater efforts to prevent and treat these conditions, especially in patients with diabetes. Assessing Risk of CVD in Diabetes There are many approaches for estimating the risk of diabetes and CVD. One such tool—Diabetes PHD (Personal Health Decisions), which is available online at—is of particular value for this task for both clinicians and patients. Diabetes PHD is an easy-to-use internet program made available by the American Diabetes Association. It can be used to explore the effects of a wide variety of interventions, including weight loss, smoking cessation, and the addition of medications. It has been studied and validated extensively across many types of clinical trials, and it incorporates most known CVD risk factors. Research suggests that such risk assessment tools are rarely used...