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Symposium finds type 2 diabetes is a high risk factor for heart disease
Published in Daily News Egypt on 22 - 05 - 2008

CAIRO: The Cairo Cardiovascular Symposium held for medical practitioners highlighted patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus as being at increased risk of having cardiovascular disease (CVD).
According to data quoted from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, cardiovascular disease was stressed as the most common and serious complication of diabetes, with heart disease and stroke causing almost 65 percent of all diabetes-related deaths.
Additional risk factors for CVD include obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, physical inactivity and smoking.
The full-day symposium held last week was attended by physicians from across the region, discussing topics such as the high prevalence of diabetes in the Arab region, diabetes as a vascular disease, the cardiovascular risk management approach to diabetes, the dost to health economics approach and the effect of statins in lowering the overall risk of CVD, with interactive case studies on how to apply knowledge in practice.
Addressing the focus of the event, Dr Mourad Abdel Karim Elmourad, consultant and head of the diabetes & endocrinology unit in the Riyadh Medical Complex, said, "This symposium aims to examine the key factors that contribute to the high risk of cardiovascular disease in this region and explore the best long-term solutions to ensure a healthier life as soon as we can.
According to the International Diabetes Federation, the highest prevalence of diabetes among adults aged 20-79 is in the United Arab Emirates, followed by Saudi Arabia (23.7 percent), Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman. Only the South Pacific Island of Nauru has higher levels than this region.
In addition, the fedration said 26 percent of Egyptians have hypertension, compared to 26.3 percent in Kuwait, 32.1 percent in Qatar, 33 percent in Oman and 26.1 percent in Saudi Arabia.
Elaborating on the risk management approach, Professor Peter Lansberg, of the Academic Medical Center in Amesterdam, added: "High cholesterol is another major risk factor for cardiovascular disease and at this symposium we are discussing the benefits of using statins to reduce overall cardiovascular risk. Statins are a class of medications used to lower cholesterol levels in people with or at risk of cardiovascular disease.
In a press release distributed by the symposium organizers, in the US, Lipitor (atorvastatin), one of the statins in the market, is FDA approved to treat adult patients with type 2 diabetes, without clinically evident chronic heart disease but with at least one other risk factor for heart disease such as high blood pressure, smoking or complications of diabetes, including eye disease and protein in urine, to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. This is the same in Europe.
In patients with type 2 diabetes without coronary heart disease and at least one other risk factor, the press release continued, Lipitor significantly reduced the risk of major cardiovascular events by 37 percent and the risk of stroke by up to 48 percent.
The event was held in Cairo and speakers included renowned international & regional experts like Professor Helen Colhoun, from the University of Dundee, Scotland, Professor Ben Van Hout of the Julius Center for Health Science and Primary Care, Utrecht University and Pharmerit, and Professor Ramez Guindy of Ein Shams University.


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