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[IP] Poll: Diabetics Misjudge Disease


Poll: Diabetics Misjudge Disease
                Tue Feb 19, 5:12 PM ET

                WASHINGTON - Two out of three diabetics don't consider
cardiovascular disease a serious threat, a new poll says, even though heart
disease and stroke are the leading killers of diabetics.

                That may be largely their doctors' fault, says the poll
commissioned by the American Diabetes Association. Among the diabetics
surveyed, 52 percent said their health provider has never discussed lowering
blood pressure, and 45 percent had received no
advice about lowering cholesterol.

                While heart disease is the No. 1 killer of all Americans,
diabetics are at particular risk because high blood sugar damages their
blood vessels. Two-thirds of
deaths among diabetics are due to cardiovascular disease.

                Yet the new poll, released Tuesday, showed diabetics are
more aware of and worried about disabilities commonly caused by diabetes -
such as blindness or amputation - than this most life-threatening

                "There is a feeling of 'it won't happen to me,'" the
diabetes association concluded.

                The survey "reinforces the need to help people with diabetes
understand their increased risk for heart disease and stroke, and what they
can do to reduce those risks," said Health and Human Services Secretary
Tommy Thompson.

                Thompson used the poll's dismal results to draw attention to
the government's "ABCs of Diabetes" campaign, which urges diabetics to get
tested regularly for A1c (to test blood sugar), blood pressure and
cholesterol. The diabetes association and American College of Cardiology
recently launched a similar awareness campaign called "Make the Link."

                About 16 million Americans have diabetes, the vast majority
of them the Type 2 form that people aren't born with but develop over time.
Being overweight and being physically inactive create the biggest risks for
developing diabetes.

                The survey of 2,008 diabetics was conducted between August
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