Cardiovascular Protection with Novel Diabetes Medications

Dr. Akshay Jain MD, FRCPC, FACE, CCD, ECNU, DABIM, DABOM, Clinical and Research Endocrinologist, talks about novel medications for diabetes that offer cardiovascular protection.

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Dr. Akshay Jain MD, FRCPC, FACE, CCD, ECNU, DABIM, DABOM, Clinical and Research Endocrinologist, talks about novel medications for diabetes that offer cardiovascular protection.
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Featuring Dr. Akshay Jain, MD, FRCPC, FACE, CCD, ECNU, DABIM, DABOM, Clinical and Research Endocrinologist

Duration: 3 minutes, 26 seconds

Diabetes is a condition that causes inflammation of blood vessels. This can be either the tiny blood vessels in the eyes, kidneys or nerve endings, or the bigger blood vessels that supply the heart and the brain.

We use the term cardiovascular disease to denote heart attacks, strokes, cardiovascular death, peripheral arterial disease, heart failure or kidney failure. Men with diabetes have a one-and-a-half to two times higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease than other men the same age without diabetes. And in post-menopausal women, the risk can be as much as two to three times higher.

The risk is highest in people with diabetes that either smoke, have high blood pressure or are taking medications for high blood pressure, have high levels of bad cholesterol or are taking cholesterol-lowering medications, are males over the age of 55 or females over the age of 60. Hence, it is imperative that we use diabetes medications that do not increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

There are newer diabetes medications that are now being proven to reduce the risk considerably. Firstly, by preventing low blood sugars, newer diabetes medications help protect against irregular heart rate or cardiovascular damage. Secondly, many diabetes medications are now able to help with weight loss, particularly loss of body fat, which helps improve cardiovascular health.

Certain diabetes medications are thought to be able to reduce the rate of internal blockage of blood vessels. Another class of medications help by improving the pumping function of the heart, thereby reducing the risk of heart failure. Recent studies show that these medications can help reduce the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events by 12 to 26%, and the rates of hospitalization of heart failure by nearly 35%.

Some medications have been shown to do this even in patients who have not yet had any cardiovascular event till date, and others have even demonstrated superior reduction of cardiovascular death in the at-risk population.

All patients with diabetes would benefit from medications that will help reduce the risk of cardiovascular events. However, if you especially have a previous history of heart attack, a stroke, stent placement, bypass surgery or heart failure, you can drastically reduce the risk of future complications by being on these novel medications.

There was a point in time when diabetes was only about keeping your sugars in check. However, we now have evolved, and optimum diabetes control also involves reduction of your cardiovascular risk. For the first time in history, we have diabetes medications that not only reduce blood sugars, but also help reduce body weight, keep your blood pressure in check, protect kidneys, and most importantly, reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes, heart failure and even death. People with diabetes already have a lot going on, and using such multifunctional medications can significantly improve quality of life and health.

Presenter: Dr. Akshay Jain, Endocrinologist, Surrey, BC

Local Practitioners: Endocrinologist

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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