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Monday June 24, 2024

Heart failure second most common complication of diabetes: experts

By M. Waqar Bhatti
May 18, 2024
A representational image of a person experiencing and reacting to chest pain. — AFP/File
A representational image of a person experiencing and reacting to chest pain. — AFP/File

Heart failure is the second most common cardiovascular event that occurs in patients with type 2 diabetes and routine screening for heart failure in diabetic patients is crucial in order to identify the onset of heart failure early and prevent its progression, experts said on Friday.

Highlighting Pakistan’s status as the global leader in diabetes prevalence, experts termed NT-proBNP as a gold-standard biomarker for detecting heart failure. This preventive diagnostic tool enables clinicians to identify high-risk type 2 diabetic patients and initiate timely interventions, they said while speaking at the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU), underscoring the significance of early detection in managing diabetes-related heart complications.

The MoU was inked between the Discovering Diabetes Project, (a CSR initiative by PharmEvo Pvt Ltd), and Roche Diagnostics Pakistan. This partnership aims to collaboratively boost awareness about the NT-proBNP test for diabetes in both patients and clinicians.

According to cardiologists, people with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing heart complications compared to the general population as higher blood sugar can damage blood vessels and heart muscle. High blood pressure often co-occurs with diabetes, further straining the heart while increased inflammation can contribute to plaque buildup in arteries, leading to heart disease.

Diagnostic experts emphasized that measuring NT-proBNP levels in diabetics offers valuable insights into their heart health by predicting future cardiovascular events as elevated NT-proBNP can indicate an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, or heart failure.

Syed Jamshed Ahmed, project director of Discovering Diabetes & Deputy CEO of PharmEvo Pvt Ltd, said that their partnership with Roche Pakistan for the Discovering Diabetes Project promises to usher in a new era in revolutionizing diabetes care.

“We initiated the project three years ago with the aim of preventing more people in Pakistan from developing diabetes. As part of our efforts, we’ve introduced a free helpline and an innovative Artificial Intelligence (AI) solution called Diabot. These tools are designed to help individuals understand their diabetes status better and offer valuable guidance on managing healthy blood sugar levels through dietary adjustments and regular physical exercise,” shared Ahmed.

“Our legacy of breakthrough cause-oriented initiatives, coupled with Roche’s expertise in pioneering innovative solutions and technologies, will lead to mass awareness, healthcare professionals’ capacity building, and early diagnosis that will significantly transform diabetes care and management in Pakistan,” he added.

Abdul Qayyum, country manager at Roche Diagnostics Pakistan & Afghanistan, emphasized the substantial clinical and economic implications of the co-existence of type 2 diabetes and heart failure.

“We are delighted to partner with PharmEvo to raise awareness around diabetes and heart failure management along with the critical role of predictive diagnostic markers like NT-proBNP among both patients and clinicians. I am confident that this partnership will help us work towards reducing the cardio-metabolic disease burden in Pakistan by enabling early diagnosis and better disease management of diabetic patients,” he announced.