ORLANDO – What most people with type 2 diabetes don’t know about their cardiovascular risk could get them killed.
A national online survey revealed a surprising lack of awareness among patients with type 2 diabetes and their loved ones regarding the well-established significantly increased risk of cardiovascular mortality associated with the disease.
The same low rate of awareness was present in the general population, as represented by the 1,004 controls who didn’t have type 2 diabetes or know anyone who did, Jonathan Pak, PharmD, reported at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology.
“We thought patient awareness would be higher, but some who I think understand this space better are surprised it’s even this high,” Dr. Pak said in an interview.
Putting aside the widespread lack of awareness of cardiovascular disease as the leading cause of death in patients with type 2 diabetes, 52% of the patients with type 2 diabetes and a similar proportion of their loved ones were unaware that type 2 diabetes is associated with any increased risk of cardiovascular disease and other macrovascular events, noted Dr. Pak, director of metabolism at Boehringer Ingelheim in Ridgefield, Conn.
There was a strong whiff of denial in the patients’ attitudes. For example, only 24% of the group with type 2 diabetes rated themselves as “likely” to have an amputation in the future, yet they rated 42% of others with type 2 disease as likely to undergo amputation. The same attitude pertained to the prospect of having an acute MI: It’s the others who are at increased risk, not me.