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MSD survey reveals gap in patient and physician understanding of risk serious cardiovascular disease in people with type 2 diabetes in UAE

United Arab Emirates: Monday, May 14 - 2012 @ 12:52

Though survey results showed that all physicians agreed with the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) global guidelines, which state that statins should be prescribed to all patients with type 2 diabetes over the age of 40 and to all those with declared cardiovascular disease, less than one third (32%) of patients reported they had been advised to take a statin. Of equal concern, was that from the 32% advised to take cholesterol lowering agents, only 19 percent, were actually following physician’s advice. Despite the high prevalence of diabetes in comparison to many other countries surveyed, data showed a greater uptake of statin treatment amongst type 2 diabetes patients elsewhere in the world than it did in the UAE.

Commenting on the survey findings, Mr. Andrew Miles, Managing Director for MSD in the Gulf Region, said: “At MSD we are committed to raising awareness of crucial disease areas like diabetes, and the serious complications they can lead to. Promoting greater physician and patient understanding of the link between diabetes and the risk of cardiovascular disease is essential if we are to save lives. Despite the fact that physicians clearly understand the need to manage cardiovascular risks for their patients with type 2 diabetes; many patients still do not follow medical advice, simply because they still do not understand the severity of the risk they are putting themselves at. Patients need to be aware of their risks for heart disease or stroke if we are to ensure more UAE diabetics are to adhere to the correct medical treatments.”

Nearly all (98%) physicians surveyed believed that patients with type 2 diabetes sometimes, frequently, or very frequently have problems adhering to their statin treatment. These findings suggest that poor compliance may be a major barrier contributing to the low use of statins amongst patients. More than two thirds (68%) of the physicians surveyed thought that complaints about having to take too many pills was a key reason that patients eligible to take a statin were not.

When asked directly about their statin treatment, just under two-thirds of patients reported that they sometimes or often have difficulties following their statin regimen as prescribed. A quarter stated this was because they didn’t understand why they needed to take the statin, despite 65% reporting that heart disease was their biggest worry regarding the complications of diabetes.

“These findings further emphasize the need for increased education about the link between diabetes and cardiovascular disease. More communication between patients and physicians about the cardiovascular disease risks associated with diabetes is essential, so that physicians can develop an individualized treatment plan that is right for their patients,” concluded Dr. Jaber Al Ansari, Consultant and Endocrinologist at the Dubai Hospital.

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Monday, May 14- 2012 @ 12:52 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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