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Novo Nordisk UK launches a campaign to raise awareness of the risk of heart attacks and strokes in people living with type 2 diabetes

Novo Nordisk UK launches a campaign to raise awareness of the risk of heart attacks and strokes in people living with type 2 diabetes

Gatwick, 28 November 2018


Today, Novo Nordisk UK announces the launch of ‘don’t miss a beat in type 2 diabetes’, an awareness campaign aimed at people living with type 2 diabetes and their families.


The campaign launches in the wake of repeated warnings from leading healthcare professionals and charities that more must be done to reduce cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks and strokes, in those living with type 2 diabetes.


The ‘don’t miss a beat in type 2 diabetes’ campaign comprises an informative website, video animation, online Q&A, and is being fronted by Christopher Biggins, who, himself, lives with type 2 diabetes.


Cardiovascular disease is largely preventable yet the impact is severe. The cost to the NHS is also severe, with over £7 billion spent each year managing complications caused by type 2 diabetes1. The largest cost for complications is cardiovascular disease1.


New data from the International Diabetes Federation reveals that two in three people living with type 2 diabetes have cardiovascular disease risk factors such as high blood pressure, uncontrolled blood glucose levels and high cholesterol2.


Lifestyle and medication can be used to lower the risk of a person experiencing cardiovascular disease, and people living with type 2 diabetes are encouraged to meet targets for blood glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure, working with their healthcare professional in order to achieve this. Unfortunately, only 40% of people living with type 2 diabetes meet all three targets3.


Simon Williams, Head of Communications and Policy at HEART UK said: “Lots of effort goes into raising awareness of type 2 diabetes but we need to move the discussion along to educate people living with the condition about their cardiovascular risk. In the UK, 3.3 million people have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and that number is snowballing. The number of people having heart attacks and strokes could potentially rise significantly over the next 20 years, unless we take urgent action.”


Despite the significant impact, two in three people living with type 2 diabetes have admitted that they need more information about cardiovascular disease and the risks2.


Dr Naresh Kanumilli is a South Manchester GP with a special interest in diabetes and cardiology, and Clinical Champion for patient organisation Diabetes UK. He’s backing the campaign and encouraging people living with type 2 diabetes to take steps to reduce their risk.


Dr Kanumilli said: “The effects of cardiovascular disease on the person, their family, and society, cannot be underestimated. For too long, the focus for managing type 2 diabetes has been on managing blood sugars and while that remains an important aspect, cardiovascular risk can no longer be overlooked.


“We need a holistic approach to managing type 2 diabetes that places prevention of cardiovascular disease at the heart of our efforts. There are many simple steps that can be taken to lower a person’s risk, which will see them reap the rewards in terms of their health both now and in the future.”


Dr Naresh Kanumilli’s six steps for people living with type 2 diabetes to help reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease:


  1. Try 30 minutes of exercise, five times a week to raise your heart rate. Walking fast or even gardening counts.
  2. Cut down on fatty, sugary and salty foods. Try to have at least two portions of oily fish a week, such as salmon or mackerel.
  3. Get support from your GP practice/smoking cessation service to help you stop smoking.
  4. Attend your appointments with your diabetes team and know your targets for blood pressure, cholesterol and HBa1c.
  5. Understand your medication and take as prescribed.
  6. If you drink, cut down on alcohol. Stick to less than 14 units a week and have at least 2-3 alcohol-free days in a week.


Dr Avideh Nazeri, Director of Clinical, Medical and Regulatory for Novo Nordisk UK said: “Novo Nordisk UK is proud to launch ‘don’t miss a beat in type 2 diabetes’. It is clear that cardiovascular disease is a serious and concerning problem for people living with type 2 diabetes in the UK, and that many do not have the necessary information to better understand their risk. The good news is that cardiovascular disease is largely preventable, and we must help people living with type 2 diabetes by giving them the right information at the right time so that they know what they can do to lower their risk.”


For more information, please visit the ‘don’t miss a beat in type 2 diabetes’ website:







About Novo Nordisk


Novo Nordisk is a global healthcare company with 95 years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care. This heritage has given us experience and capabilities that also enable us to help people with obesity, haemophilia, growth disorders and other serious chronic diseases. Headquartered in Denmark, Novo Nordisk employs approximately 43,200 people in 79 countries and markets its products in more than 170 countries.



Further information


Samantha Rowlands       +44 (0) 1293 613555 

Natalie Lanyon   +44 (0)1625 664094   




  1. Diabetes UK. (2014). The Cost of Diabetes. Available at: (last accessed, November 2018)
  2. International Diabetes Federation. (2018). Taking diabetes to heart [online] Available at: (last accessed, November 2018)
  3. NHS Digital. (2018). National Diabetes Audit, 2016-17 Report 1: Care Processes and Treatment Targets. Available at: (last accessed, November 2018)


Zinc ID: UK/CC/1118/0039

Date of prep: November 2018


Novo Nordisk Ltd

Corporate Communications

3 City Place Beehive Ring Road Gatwick West Sussex RH6 0PA


+44 1293 613555


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Last Updated: 30-Nov-2018