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ACC, Novo Nordisk to advance care for people with type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease

Global initiative will educate and engage clinicians in providing optimal multidisciplinary care

The American College of Cardiology (ACC), in collaboration with Novo Nordisk A/S, today announced a new global program to support improvements in multidisciplinary care for people with Type 2 diabetes. Through the global UNITE (Multidisciplinary Teams In Cardiometabolic Care) program, clinicians across multiple specialties will receive the education and tools needed for an integrated approach to Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease care.

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“Despite advances in care, people with Type 2 diabetes continue to face a higher risk of death and disability from cardiovascular disease,” said Athena Poppas, MD, FACC, ACC president. “New strategies for managing this complex disease are needed. Through UNITE, we’re meeting that need by providing guidance and tools that can be easily integrated into day-to-day clinical practice to optimize cardiovascular risk through treatment pathways and collaborative management of comorbidities.”

Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 cause of death among people with Type 2 diabetes. While recent clinical guidelines have begun to reflect the increased cardiovascular risk associated with Type 2 diabetes, barriers to achieving optimal care remain. The ACC recognized this in the 2020 Expert Consensus Decision Pathway on Novel Therapies for Cardiovascular Risk Reduction in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes, which recommends a multidisciplinary approach to managing this high-risk patient group with multiple comorbidities, but additional work is needed to help clinicians implement these recommendations.

“People with Type 2 diabetes are two to four times more likely to experience a stroke or heart attack compared to people not living with Type 2 diabetes. We know that we can help improve these outcomes, but it requires strong alignment across different medical specialties,” said Stephen Gough, chief medical officer at Novo Nordisk. “Novo Nordisk is proud to collaborate with two of the foremost associations in the complementary fields of diabetes and cardiology to move forward in achieving our shared goal of improving outcomes for people with Type 2 diabetes.”

UNITE will be launched in targeted countries around the world in 2021 to promote implementation of the multidisciplinary approach and foster increased collaboration. The program will offer a series of six educational webinars on cardiometabolics, cardiometabolic education modules for the cardiovascular care team and a live cardiometabolic clinic for clinicians, developed in collaboration with the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and MedAxiom, an ACC company. The first program was successfully initiated in the United Arab Emirates in December 2020, with additional countries to be announced later this year.

“Every day more than 4,000 people are newly diagnosed with diabetes in America. A priority of the ADA is to increase adoption of its evidence-based ‘Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes – 2021’ to improve diabetes-related health outcomes. These standards emphasize the need for aggressive risk factor reduction and targeted use of pharmacologic therapy to prevent and better manage atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and to reduce heart failure in people with Type 2 diabetes,” said Ruth S. Weinstock, MD, PhD, ADA, president, medicine and science. “We look forward to collaborating with the ACC and others to help health care providers deliver care that improves the lives of people affected by diabetes.”