13 May 2013
This World Hypertension Day, NPS MedicineWise is urging people with diabetes to manage their blood pressure and cholesterol in concert with managing their blood glucose (sugar) levels.
NPS Clinical Adviser Dr Philippa Binns says that a growing body of research confirms that managing diabetes should not focus exclusively on glucose levels.
“Current research shows that people with diabetes who have good blood pressure and cholesterol control are less likely to have strokes and heart attacks than people who lower their blood glucose alone,” says Dr Binns.
“This means that managing blood pressure and cholesterol is equally as important as managing blood glucose levels.”
For example, studies that followed people with diabetes over a five year period showed that more than three times as many cardiovascular events (strokes and heart attacks) were prevented when the focus was on cholesterol and blood pressure-lowering compared with reducing glucose levels alone.
“Diabetes can affect your body and your health in different ways. Having regular check-ups, making healthy lifestyle choices and using your medicines can help you manage your diabetes and prevent complications,” says Dr Binns.
This means that to stay healthy and prevent complications, people with diabetes need to keep track of several different health check ups and targets – including managing their glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol.
To help people with diabetes stay in control and better manage their health, NPS MedicineWise has produced two new resources that individuals, doctors, diabetes educators, pharmacists, other health professionals and community groups can order for free.
“Our new guide, Keeping track of your diabetes — it’s not just about glucose, explains why managing blood pressure and cholesterol are just as important as managing blood glucose levels to prevent diabetes-related complications.
“It also covers the different health checks and medical tests recommended for people with diabetes and the role of medicines in managing these conditions,” says Dr Binns.
“The Diabetes Health Tracker is a tool that people can use to record and keep track of both their medicines and the medical tests and check-ups that are part of the Diabetes Annual Cycle of Care.
“We encourage people to show this to their health professional at each visit, and to take an active role in their diabetes management.”
The Diabetes Health Tracker and the brochure are available to download in English, Italian, Greek, Vietnamese and Chinese – simplified and traditional. People can order copies from the NPS MedicineWise website at www.nps.org.au/ordernow.
For more information about how to manage diabetes visit www.nps.org.au/diabetes
For more information on prescription, over-the-counter and complementary medicines (herbal, ‘natural’, vitamins and minerals) from a health professional, call NPS Medicines Line on 1300 MEDICINE begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1300 MEDICINE end_of_the_skype_highlighting (1300 633 424 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1300 633 424 end_of_the_skype_highlighting) for the cost of a local call (calls from mobiles may cost more). Hours of operation are Monday–Friday 9am–5pm AEST (excluding public holidays).