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Heart disease and Type 2 diabetes aren’t just common. They commonly occur together. So why does the health care system force patients with both conditions to treat one disease at a time? 

A better approach exists, argues “The Intersection,” a new paper from the Partnership to Advance Cardiovascular Health and the Diabetes Policy Collaborative. The policy paper explains why treating these diseases as the comorbidities they so often are can improve the lives of patients. 

Treating the patient instead of the independent diseases, the paper notes, can provide more cohesive treatment and better health outcomes. 

Patient-Centered Care

Making patient-centered care available to the growing number of people with both conditions requires changes in the health care system. The paper highlights the need for:

Adjusting treatment strategy can help the millions of Americans battling these comorbid conditions. Getting there, however, will require a “mindset shift and policy action,” the paper concludes.

Type 2 Diabetes & Cardiovascular Disease in America

Almost half of Americans have some form of heart disease. And 1.4 million new cases of Type 2 diabetes are diagnosed each year, afflicting one out of 10 Americans over the age of 20. The incidence of both conditions is increasing.

Many patients face these diseases concurrently, often with deadly results. In the United States, more than two-thirds of people over age 65 who live with diabetes die from heart disease.

For more information, read “The Intersection: Cardiovascular Disease, Type 2 Diabetes & Patient-Centered Care.”

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