Physicians at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi and Imperial College London Diabetes Centre, both part of Mubadala’s network of healthcare providers, are raising awareness about the link between diabetes and heart disease as part of their commitment to improving the health of the Abu Dhabi population.
Heart disease is a leading cause of death in Abu Dhabi and people with diabetes are between two and four times more likely to develop the condition over their lifetime. However, this increased risk can be controlled by proper diabetes management and following a heart healthy lifestyle and diet plan.
“It is imperative, given the rate of diabetes in our community, that people understand the risk the condition poses to their heart. Globally, around two thirds of patients with diabetes die as a result of heart attack or stroke. We work closely with our colleagues at Imperial College London Diabetes Centre, to help reduce that risk for patients and help them live a longer, healthier life. Patients benefit from specialized diabetes management and can be seamlessly referred to Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi for any surgery they may require,” says Dr. Faisal Hasan, a cardiologist at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.
High blood sugar levels can damage the vessels and nerves in and around the heart, putting diabetic patients at greater risk of a hardening of the arteries, reduced heart function and heart attack. Educating people about their risks and steps they can take to reduce them is key to reducing the toll of diabetes and heart disease.
“People with diabetes are at a significantly increased risk of developing heart disease. Proper management of their condition is a vital part of reducing that risk. Our holistic approach to diabetes management helps our patients maintain their heart health. It is important that diabetic patients take the opportunity to sit with a specialist and have a check-up,” says Dr. Safdar Naqvi, Medical Director at Imperial College London Diabetes Centre.
One of the most common heart related complications of diabetes is a hardening of the arteries that can reduce blood flow to the heart and significantly increase a patient’s risk of heart attack. Patients at Imperial College London Diabetes Centre benefit from close collaboration with Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, operating a regular vascular clinic where patients can be monitored and referred for surgery at the hospital if needed.
Among the surgical options available is an innovative bilateral internal thoracic artery (BITA) grafting procedure, which uses veins taken from the patient’s chest to provide a new route for blood to enter the heart. Research at Cleveland Clinic in the United States has shown that BITA grafting is the most effective surgical treatment for the condition in diabetics.
Both diabetes and heart disease are largely preventable conditions. Family history, nutrition, exercise and smoking all play an important role. People who want to know more about the risks of cardiovascular disease and the steps they can take to reduce them can visit knowyourheart.clevelandclinicabudhabi.ae.