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AANP Supports the Know Diabetes by Heart™ Initiative

Diabetes and PCP

By Heather Kays

In honor of Diabetes Awareness Month, learn how nurse practitioners can continue to help fight this ever-increasing health crisis.

November is Diabetes Awareness Month. The severity of diabetes in the United States is continuously growing. Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the CDC. Diabetes is the number one cause of kidney failure, lower-limb amputations and adult blindness. The CDC reports that in the last 20 years, the number of adults diagnosed with diabetes has more than doubled.

This year, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners® (AANP) and the Know Your Diabetes by Heart™ initiative have teamed up once again to help nurse practitioners (NPs) fight this ever-increasing health crisis.

The Know Diabetes by Heart initiative, a collaboration between the American Heart Association® (AHA) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA), is designed to address the combined national health impact of type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) by providing tools and resources for both patients and providers.

“We know that those living with diabetes are twice as likely to develop heart disease compared to those without diabetes,” said Steven Embree, VP of Communications for the American Heart Association. “Additionally, research has shown that only about half of people over 45 who are living with type 2 diabetes recognize that they have an increased risk of heart disease or stroke. So, in 2018, we collaborated with the American Diabetes Association to launch the Know Diabetes by Heart program in an effort to raise awareness among those impacted of their increased risks, provide them resources to better manage their own heart health and also support health care providers in educating their patients.”

How to Help Raise Diabetes Awareness in Your Community

AANP stands with AHA and ADA and is committed to raising awareness in several ways:

  • Visit the Know Diabetes by Heart initiative's resources page to view clinical tools and resources to help you better manage cardiovascular risk in patients with diabetes.
  • Register for Current and Future State of Cardiovascular Disease and Type 2 Diabetes in the AANP CE Center. This multimodule activity explores the pathophysiology and complications of prediabetes, behavioral interventions to mitigate the risk of CVD and diabetes-related kidney disease and the impact of hypoglycemia in patients with advanced coronary artery disease.
  • Listen to episode 15 of AANP’s podcast, NP Pulse: The Voice of the Nurse Practitioner®, for an in-depth interview with two expert NPs — and AANP members — as they discuss the intersection of T2DM and CVD, including patient care challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Visit AANP’s Endocrinology resources page to access professional resources, such as scientific guidelines, fact sheets, presentations and information on the impact of COVID-19 on patients with T2DM.

More Opportunities for NPs to Enhance Their Diabetes Care

AANP is offering NPs the opportunity to earn 1.25 contact hours of continuing education (CE) credit (including 1.25 pharmacology credit) by enrolling in GLP-1 Receptor Agonists for Type 2 Diabetes: Incorporating the Latest Treatment Options into Individualized Care. In this program, Dixie Harms and Shannon Idzik, both NPs with expertise in diabetes care, discuss how to overcome clinical inertia utilizing the 2020 ADA treatment algorithm. This CE activity is made available for NPs at no cost, thanks to an independent medical education grant from NovoNordisk.

In addition to this, members can enroll in Diabetic Retinopathy: Meeting Patient Needs in the AANP CE Center to identify patients at risk for diabetic retinopathy, review screening tools that are available in primary care and learn how to partner with patients to reduce barriers to attending screening and treatment appointments with their eye specialist. Complete this course before December 31, 2021 to receive 1.25 contact hours of CE credit (0.5 of which may be applied towards pharmacology).

On Feb. 5, 2021, AANP will offer another opportunity to Explore Type 2 Diabetes Case Studies and Join the Live Q&A Period with a free webinar. This live webinar is a chance to gain an update on diabetes care, including how to overcome clinical inertia through the 2020 ADA treatment algorithm. Expert NP faculty will present three case studies to illustrate how to set individualized therapeutic goals for the rapid attainment of HbA1c targets, intensify medication therapy utilizing the ADA’s 2020 guidelines and identify patients for whom a GLP-1 receptor agonist may reduce cardio- and cerebrovascular events. Please note: This webinar contains the same content as the other two webinars in this activity series. Learners should only complete one offering of this activity to earn CE credit. Keep an eye on the AANP events webpage for your opportunity to register for this webinar.

“Adults with diabetes are two times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke than people without diabetes,” said Daisy Diaz, Communications and Media Relations Manager of the ADA. “To address this challenge, the American Diabetes Association has teamed up with the American Heart Association, along with industry sponsors, to help educate and raise awareness of the link between diabetes and cardiovascular disease through the Know Diabetes by Heart Initiative. Nurse practitioners play a critical role in educating their patients living with type 2 diabetes about their elevated cardiovascular disease risk and treating their patients to prevent cardiovascular deaths, heart attacks, and stroke. Know Diabetes by Heart is grateful for the strategic alliance with AANP and their support of this strategic initiative.”