Sweetheart is a common phrase we use to describe someone dear to us; someone we cherish and probably can’t live without. The word also illustrates intimate link which diabetes and heart disease share. When we think about diabetic complications, we commonly think about gangrene, kidney disease and nerve and even eye disease. However, unknown to most people, more than 68% of diabetics 65 years and older are at risk of dying from diabetes. This number is representative of the increased risk of heart disease among diabetics. In fact, they have up to four times the risk of developing heart disease compared to normal adults.
In Malaysia alone, the number of diabetics is at a staggering 3.5 million people; close to 10% of the total population of the country. This number is expected to increase to 7 million by the year 2025. This is the highest rate in the continent. Worldwide, these statistics are even more dire; an estimated 31% of global deaths are attributed to heart disease.
“For Your Sweetheart” – A Campaign Addressing the Deadly Link in Malaysia
Now, with all those scary facts out of the way, why are we talking about heart disease and diabetes? Well, World Heart Day just passed and health professionals the world over are working to increase the awareness of this potentially fatal combo of diseases. In Malaysia, a new campaign is being kicked off by the Malaysian Endocrine and Metabolic Society (MEMS) and Malaysian Diabetes Educators Society (MDES) to raise public awareness about the potentially fatal link between these diseases.
The campaign’s primary component is it’s website (foryoursweetheart.my) where information will be made available to the public in English and Bahasa Malaysia. The information on the website is easy to understand and contains all the pertinent information about the diseases. Visitors can also test their understanding about the two diseases through a simple, interactive quiz on the homepage.
The cornerstone of the campaign is a series of videos of a social experiment carried out by MEMS and MDES. These videos highlight key information about diabetes and its connection to heart disease. In addition, the videos also explain and outline steps patients should take to live a full, healthy life with diabetes.
In addition to this, the campaign will also see posters and brochures made available in clinics and hospitals in Malaysia. To find out more, visit foryoursweetheart.my.