NDEP campaign highlights the link between diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Heart disease and stroke account for about 65 percent of deaths in people with diabetes. More than 20 million adults in the United States are living with diabetes and are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). But there are steps that they can take to reduce the complications associated with these two diseases.

The National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) has launched "Control Your Diabetes. For Life.” a national campaign that will reach out through a network of 200 partners to health care professionals and their patients to emphasize the importance of comprehensive control of diabetes and CVD. The NDEP is jointly sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Public awareness of the link between diabetes and CVD is low, and many people with diabetes do not understand all they can do to manage their disease and reduce their risk for complications, including heart attack and stroke. Adults with diabetes have heart disease death rates about two to four times higher than adults without diabetes, and the risk for stroke is also two to four times higher among people with diabetes.

"Control Your Diabetes. For Life". campaign messages and materials help people with diabetes understand the importance of controlling their ABCs -- as measured by the A1C test, Blood pressure, and Cholesterol. The A1C test measures a person's average blood glucose level over the past three months. High BLOOD PRESSURE makes a person's heart work too hard. Too much bad CHOLESTEROL, or LDL, builds up and clogs a person's arteries. People with diabetes need to ask their health care team what their ABC numbers are, what they should be, and how to reach their goal numbers.

Free educational materials include: "4 Steps to Control Your Diabetes. For Life.” a brochure to help people with diabetes manage their disease; "Take Care of Your Heart. Manage Your Diabetes", a tip sheet about the link between diabetes and heart disease and tips on how to manage the ABCs of diabetes; "Guiding Principles for Diabetes Care", a guide to help health care professionals learn more about essential components of diabetes care; "Diabetes Numbers At-a-Glance", a handy laminated pocket guide with a list of current recommendations for health care professionals to diagnose and manage diabetes; and other free resources for people with diabetes, their families, and health care professionals.

"Control Your Diabetes. For Life". campaign messages and materials are tailored to groups at high risk for the disease: African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and older adults. Materials are available in English, Spanish, and 15 Asian and Pacific Islander languages.

Through the "Control Your Diabetes. For Life". campaign, NDEP is working to change the way diabetes is treated. For more information about the link between diabetes and heart disease or the "Control Your Diabetes. For Life". campaign, ()
visit or call 1-888-693-NDEP (6337). Listen to an NIH Research Radio interview about this campaign at