Cardiac Health Foundation of Canada and Physicians Call for National Attention to Care Gaps

TORONTO and BURLINGTON, ON, Dec. 7, 2015 /CNW/ - The Cardiac Health Foundation of Canada published a white paper calling for national attention to the growing rates of type 2 diabetes in Canada and the associated increase in cardiovascular (CV) disease – including heart attack and stroke. The white paper, launched following the International Diabetes Federation World Diabetes Congress 2015 in Vancouver, is a wake-up call to healthcare professionals and government by leading Canadian medical experts.

Dr. David Fitchett, a cardiologist at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, along with Dr. Jeremy Gilbert, an endocrinologist at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto, and Dr. Richard Tytus, a family physician practicing in Hamilton, Ontario, recently assembled in Toronto for a discussion.  Moderated by Dr. Shafiq Qaadri, family physician and Ontario MPP, the conversation addressed the current gaps in care and treatment to decrease the death rate from CV disease among Canadians with type 2 diabetes.

Dr. Fitchett says that we can't continue to ignore the problem:

"In Canada the number of people with diabetes has increased at epidemic proportions.  Type 2 diabetes is seen in younger and younger people and this is going to result in a tsunami of cardiovascular disease in the future."

The immediate call to action outlined in the white paper is aimed at alerting physicians to always consider CV protection when treating patients with type 2 diabetes, whether through lifestyle or medication.

"Our goal is to educate those with heart disease to live a productive lifestyle. People with type 2 diabetes are a huge part of this population.  We want them to be aware of the risks and provide access to treatment and programs that are tailored to the circumstances of those living with type 2 diabetes," says Cardiac Health Executive Director, Barbara Kennedy. "That is why we are urgently bringing forward the discussion of care gaps in cardiovascular risk and protection in type 2 diabetes."

The white paper "Care Gaps in Cardiovascular Risk and Protection in Type 2 Diabetes" is being published today at  The white paper was sponsored by the Boehringer Ingelheim and Lilly Canada Diabetes Alliance.

Cardiovascular Disease in Type 2 Diabetes Statistics

  • More than three million Canadians have diabetes; 90 per cent of which is type 2 diabetesi.
  • People with diabetes are at very high risk of heart disease and strokeii.
  • Worldwide, approximately 52 per cent of deaths in people with type 2 diabetes are caused by cardiovascular diseaseiii.
  • People with diabetes are over three times more likely to be hospitalized with cardiovascular disease, 12 times more likely to be hospitalized with end-stage renal disease and over 20 times more likely to be hospitalized for a non-traumatic lower limb amputation compared to the general populationiv.

For more information or to download "Care Gaps in Cardiovascular Risk and Protection in Type 2 Diabetes", visit or call the Cardiac Health Foundation of Canada at 416-730-8299.

Additional Quotes
"It is not diet, but rather it is lifestyle modification that should be adapted to the individual with diabetes or cardiovascular disease." – Dr. Jeremy Gilbert, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto

"Family physicians treat 80 per cent of type 2 diabetes patients in Canada, and we are the front line in the fight against cardiovascular events in these patients. We need to be thinking about what we are doing not only to reduce their glucose levels, but also their risk for a CV event." – Dr. Richard Tytus, Hamilton, Ontario

"The toughest part is maintaining a healthy diet in the battle against diabetes, but the relationship with the practising physician is key."   –  Joan Pecan, Oshawa, Ontario - living with type 2 diabetes for 35 years, also has cardiovascular disease.

About Cardiac Health Foundation of Canada (Cardiac Health)
The Cardiac Health Foundation of Canada is a charitable organization dedicated to supporting cardiac rehabilitation and the advocacy of prevention and education across Canada. The mission is to support community cardiac rehabilitation programs across Canada, fund research that investigates better methods of cardiac rehabilitation and cardiovascular health, encourage primary and secondary prevention of heart disease and to educate those with heart disease to live a productive lifestyle. The National WALK OF LIFE Campaign supports 30 cardiac rehab centres across Canada funding patient education, professional education, and equipment. The Foundation has recently celebrated its 50th Anniversary and has committed $325,000 to establish the Dr. Terry Kavanagh Heart Health Lab at U of T and over $30,000 is given out annually through scholarships.

Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly and Company
In January 2011, Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly and Company announced an alliance in the field of diabetes that centres on three pipeline compounds representing several of the largest treatment classes. This Alliance leverages the companies' strengths as two of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies, combining Boehringer Ingelheim's solid track record of research-driven innovation and Lilly's innovative research, experience and pioneering history in diabetes. By joining forces, the companies demonstrate commitment in the care of people with diabetes and stand together to focus on patient needs. For more information about the Alliance visit or

About Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd.
The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world's 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, Boehringer Ingelheim operates globally with 146 affiliates and a total of more than 47,700 employees. The focus of the family-owned company, founded in 1885, is researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing new medications of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.

Social responsibility is an important element of the corporate culture at Boehringer Ingelheim. This includes worldwide involvement in social projects, such as the initiative "Making more Health" and caring for the employees. Respect, equal opportunities and reconciling career and family form the foundation of the mutual cooperation. In everything it does, the company focuses on environmental protection and sustainability.

In 2014, Boehringer Ingelheim achieved net sales of about 13.3 billion euros. R&D expenditure corresponds to 19.9 per cent of its net sales. The Canadian headquarters of Boehringer Ingelheim was established in 1972 in Montreal, Quebec and is now located in Burlington, Ontario. Boehringer Ingelheim employs more than 550 people across Canada. For more information please visit

About Eli Lilly Canada Inc.
Lilly is a global healthcare leader that unites caring with discovery to make life better for people around the world. We were founded more than a century ago by a man committed to creating high quality medicines that meet real needs, and today we remain true to that mission in all our work. Across the globe, Lilly employees work to discover and bring life-changing medicines to those who need them, improve the understanding and management of disease, and give back to communities through philanthropy and volunteerism. To learn more about Lilly, please visit us at

i Canadian Diabetes Association (2013). Diabetes Fact Sheet. Available: Accessed November 2015.
ii Heart Disease and Stroke – Canadian Diabetes Association. Accessed September 7 2015
iii Morrish NJ, et al. Mortality and causes of death in the WHO Multinational Study of Vascular Disease in Diabetes. Diabetologia 2001; 44: S14-21
iv Cheng A. Canadian Diabetes Association 2013 Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Diabetes in Canada: introduction. Can J Diabetes 2013;37(suppl 1):S1-S3

SOURCE Cardiac Health Foundation Of Canada

Image with caption: "Cardiac Health Foundation Of Canada (CNW Group/Cardiac Health Foundation Of Canada)". Image available at:

Image with caption: "Cardiac Health White Paper (CNW Group/Cardiac Health Foundation Of Canada)". Image available at:

For further information: Barbara Kennedy, Executive Director, Cardiac Health Foundation of Canada, Email:, Phone: (416) 730-8299; Merry Garbutt, Corporate Communications, Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd., Email:, Phone: (905) 631-4531; Helen Stone, Manager, Communications, Eli Lilly Canada Inc., Email:, Phone: (416) 693-3169


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