Lowering Cardiovascular Disease Risk for Patients With Diabetes
Pharmacists are in the unique position to not only educate patients about diabetes but also discuss the preventable complications that can stem from diabetes. Specifically, pharmacists can help to address risk factors that contribute to cardiovascular disease, such as hypertension, lipid levels, and antiplatelet agents and offer lifestyle modifications when reviewing medications and counseling their patients about this chronic health disease.
The CDC 2017 National Diabetes Statistics Report estimated that over 30 million individuals, or 9.4% of the US population, have diabetes.1 Of these 30 million people, about 25% do not have a diabetes diagnosis.1 In 2015, diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death, with heart disease as the leading cause.2 The contributing factors to these statistics include the complications that accompany diabetes, such as heart disease and stroke; eye problems that can lead to blindness; and kidney disease and amputations. There is a strong correlation between diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD), which is the leading cause of death in patients with diabetes.3 In fact, at least 68% of adults >65 years with diabetes die from some form of heart disease, and adults with diabetes are 2 to 4 times more likely to die from heart disease than adults without the condition (figure 14).5,6
Pharmacists should ensure that patients have access to all the resources needed to control blood glucose and glycated hemoglobin and should edu- cate patients to ensure they take the steps necessary to minimize risks for complications. Even when glucose i Continue reading