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Boehringer Ingelheim, Lilly launch campaign on Type 2 diabetes, heart disease link


RIDGEFIELD, Conn. and INDIANAPOLIS — Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly & Co. have launched an educational campaign to help raise awareness of the link between heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. The “For Your SweeHeart: Where diabetes and heart disease meet” campaign launch follows a survey by the two companies that found three-in-four Americans and two-in-three people with Type 2 diabetes don’t know that heart disease is the No. 1 health-related killer of Type 2 diabetes patients. 


The survey also found that more than half of adults with Type 2 diabetes don’t understand their increased risk for heart disease and related life-threatening events, including heart attack, stroke and death. The educational campaign is aimed at encouraging these patients to know their risk and speak to a healthcare provider. It includes the “Heart You Quiz,” which is aimed at sparking conversation, as 99% of patients with Type 2 diabetes said if they knew it meant increased risk of heart disease, they would do something about it. 


“The truth is cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among people with diabetes, but there is hope. The earlier people with diabetes understand this risk, the sooner they become engaged and take action to help reduce their chances of heart attacks, strokes or even death,” Boehringer Ingelheim president and cEO Paul Fonteyne said. “We’re excited to launch “For Your SweetHeart” to encourage people with type 2 diabetes to assess their risk through the “Heart You Quiz” and to speak with their healthcare provider about the link between diabetes and heart disease. The most important thing people can do is know everything they can about their health and encourage their loved ones to do the same.”


The campaign also sees the companies partnering with emergency medicine physician and host of “The Doctors,” Dr. Travis Stork, whose grandfather had Type 2 diabetes, making the issue personal for him. 


“My grandfather had type 2 diabetes, and from him, I learned a lot about the importance of managing the disease before I ever became a doctor,” Stork said. “I urge everyone with type 2 diabetes to visit, take and share the Heart You Quiz to learn about their risk for heart disease, then talk to their healthcare provider.”


Healthcare costs in the United States for managing cardiovascular conditions in patients with Type 2 diabetes hit $23 billion in 2012. 


“People with diabetes are two to four times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease than people without diabetes,” Lilly Diabetes VP U.S. Mike Mason said. “Educating the public about this important health crisis is just another component of our responsibility and commitment to delivering the best care for people with type 2 diabetes. We hope this initiative will encourage people to take action, not only for themselves, but also for their sweethearts.”


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