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Feature Article

Diabetes and cardiac health: challenges to risk assessment and prevention strategies

Anthony Pease, Sophia Zoungas

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Abstract

Current recommendations for primary prevention of cardiovascular disease promote risk stratification and management based on estimation of absolute cardiovascular risk. However, this approach has not been adequately tested in people with type 1 diabetes or young people with type 2 diabetes, who may have a longer lifetime exposure to suboptimal cardiovascular risk factors and will therefore require an individualised management approach.

Key Points

  • Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in people with diabetes.
  • Current primary prevention strategies focus on assessment of absolute cardiovascular risk and management of risk factors.
  • Gaps in the evidence regarding absolute cardiovascular risk stratification for people with type 1 diabetes and young people with type 2 diabetes means that individual cardiovascular risk factor assessment and management is still advocated.
  • A multidisciplinary approach to the prevention of cardiovascular disease should be applied in all patients with diabetes wherever possible.

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Model used for illustrative purposes only

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