Cardiovascular disease has long been recognized as the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with diabetes. Several trials over the past few years have shown some agents used to lower glucose have cardiovascular benefits, while other agents that have been historically used do not.
On Friday, June 7, the Joint ADA/ACC Mini-Symposium—Cardiovascular Disease in Patients with Diabetes will explore the potential synergies of using agents that improve outcomes in patients with diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The session will begin at 11:30 a.m. in N-Hall E (North, Exhibition Level).
ADAMeetingNews.org spoke with one of the symposium’s presenters, Sandeep Das, MD, MPH, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Medical Director for Acute Coronary Care at Parkland Memorial Hospital, about evolving treatment approaches for patients with both diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
ADAMeetingNews.org: How do the traditional approaches to diabetes care and cardiovascular differ?
Dr. Das: We’re all trying to do the right thing for patients—trying to improve their outcomes to help them feel better, live longer, and to avoid morbidity. The traditional diabetes approach has historically been centered around glucose lowering and modification of risk factors such as healthy lifestyle, blood pressure reduction, and statin therapy. The cardiovascular outcomes approach looks at things like reducing heart failure admissions, heart attacks, and cardiovascular mortality.
The central focus of this collaborative symposium is to provide a cardiovascular outcomes perspective on treating patients with both diabetes and cardiovascular disease. That means selecting drugs based on their anticipated effects on cardiovascular outcomes rather than just glucose control.
ADAMeetingNews.org: How might an outcomes-based approach affect diabetes care?
Dr. Das: We now have glucose-lowering drugs that can prevent cardiovascular death, stroke, heart attack, and heart failure, and likely improve kidney function. We’re in the midst of a massive paradigm change in how we approach patients with diabetes and cardiovascular disease that’s going to have a profound and lasting effect on our patients.
The analogy I see is beta blockers emerging as cutting-edge care for patients with heart failure when I was in training 20 years ago. Today, in 2019, no younger doctors have ever practiced in a paradigm that hasn’t involved beta blockers for heart failure. That’s the kind of change that’s happing now in diabetes care.
ADAMeetingNews.org: Do endocrinologists and primary care physicians have to relearn everything they thought they knew about diabetes and cardiovascular disease?
Dr. Das: Not at all. There’s much more common ground than not. We’re talking about the translation of the latest outcomes findings that encompass diabetes and cardiovascular disease to the mass audience of clinicians who do the daily work of caring for people with diabetes.