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The cause of diabetes mellitus is metabolic in origin. However, its major clinical manifestations, which result in most of the morbidity and mortality, are a result of its vascular pathology.

The American Heart Association has recently stated that, “from the point of view of cardiovascular medicine, it may be appropriate to say, diabetes is a cardiovascular disease” .

But diabetic vascular disease is not limited to just the macrovasculature. Diabetes mellitus also affects the microcirculation with devastating results, including nephropathy, neuropathy, and retinopathy. Diabetic nephropathy is the leading cause of end-stage renal disease in the United States, while diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of new-onset blindness in working-age Americans.

The importance of this post on Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease is evident by the magnitude of the population affected by diabetes mellitus. The impact from a public health perspective is huge and increasing. As the population grows older, more sedentary, and obese, the risk of developing diabetes and its complications will increase.

Epidemiological studies have identified diabetes mellitus as a major independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Over 65% of patients with diabetes mellitus die from a cardiovascular cause. The prognosis of patients with diabetes mellitus who develop overt clinical cardiovascular disease is much worse than those cardiovascular patients free of diabetes mellitus.

It is emphasized that practicing physicians and the paramedical professionals as well as general public intellects must focus on either clinical or basic aspects of diabetes and cardiovascular disease in such a way that an awareness campaign can be started at a large scale from the preventive and therapeutic point of view. Awareness programs should encompass, depending upon the targeted audience, mechanisms and risk factors for diabetic cardiovascular disease, heart in diabetes mellitus, including coronary artery disease and congestive heart failure, the peripheral vascular system including epidemiology, mechanisms, methods of assessment, and treatment of this macrovascular disease . Lastly, the awareness campaigns must also cover the different microvascular effects in individuals with diabetes mellitus, including retinopathy (eye complications in diabetes mellitus), nephropathy (kidney complications in diabetes mellitus) , neuropathy (nervous system complications in diabetes mellitus) , and microcirculation of the diabetic foot.

Among the clinicians, campaign should include cardiologists, general internists, vascular specialists, family physicians, and medical students, along with other interested practitioners and allied health personnel, clinical and basic research scientists. Emphasis should be given to both theoretical and practical aspects.

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