American Idol Judge Leads Campaign to "Get in Tune" with Type 2 Diabetes and Heart Disease
WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J., April 3, 2012 - Merck (NYSE: MRK) (known as MSD outside the United States and Canada) today announced that GRAMMY® Award-winning music producer and American Idol judge Randy Jackson, diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2003, is using his personal experience to help others with type 2 diabetes understand the serious complications, including heart disease. Jackson is touring the country with Merck for the Taking Diabetes to Heart program to help "set the stage" for people to commit to a diabetes-friendly lifestyle. The program will provide resources and information to help inspire people to take small steps to better health.
"When I was diagnosed with diabetes, my doctors told me that people with type 2 diabetes have an increased risk of heart disease and stroke," says Jackson. "This was all I needed to know to take my diabetes to heart. I made changes to my lifestyle and worked with my doctors to set goals for my blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol."
Randy Jackson is now working on the Taking Diabetes to Heart program to help people living with type 2 diabetes understand the serious complications, including heart disease, a leading cause of death among people with type 2 diabetes. In fact, adults with type 2 diabetes are 2 to 4 times more likely to die from heart disease than adults without diabetes. In addition, the risk of stroke is 2 to 4 times higher in adults with diabetes compared to adults without diabetes.
Early and effective management of the ABCs of diabetes - A1C, or blood sugar, Blood pressure and Cholesterol, is a critical part of an effective treatment plan and can help reduce the risk of heart disease.
"As a physician, I know that managing diabetes and cardiovascular disease go hand in hand since heart disease and stroke are complications of diabetes," says Helena W. Rodbard, M.D., FACP, MACE, past president of the American College of Endocrinology (ACE), and past president of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE). "Lowering cholesterol levels can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, so it's important for patients to talk to their doctors about setting goals for their blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol and developing an individualized treatment plan that is right for them."
Randy Jackson is encouraging people with type 2 diabetes to visit www.TakingDiabetestoHeart.com to learn about ways that patients can help take their diabetes to heart and pledge to better manage their diabetes. Those with type 2 diabetes who make the pledge will have access to Jackson's personal tips and example questions to ask their doctors about ways to help manage diabetes and reduce the risk of heart disease.
"Merck is committed to raising awareness of type 2 diabetes and advancing patients' understanding about how to help better manage the disease," said Mark Timney, president, Global Human Health - U.S. Market, Merck. "We're thrilled to team up with Randy Jackson to help shed light on the connection between diabetes and heart disease."
For more information about Randy Jackson's story, the Taking Diabetes to Heart program, and to make a pledge to take your diabetes to heart, visit www.TakingDiabetestoHeart.com.
About Randy Jackson
Randy Jackson is a GRAMMY® Award-winning music producer who has recorded, produced, and toured with many well-known artists during his more than 20-year career in the music industry. He is most well-known for his current role as a judge on the television show American Idol. Now 55 years old, Randy Jackson is discussing how he manages his type 2 diabetes as part of the Taking Diabetes to Heart program to help others with the condition take control of their blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol.
About Taking Diabetes to Heart
Taking Diabetes to Heart is an educational program developed by Merck to help people living with type 2 diabetes understand their diabetes and the serious complications, including heart disease or stroke. The program aims to empower adults with type 2 diabetes to take their diabetes to heart by managing their blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol to help lower their risk for heart disease. For more information on Taking Diabetes to Heart, as well as tips on living a diabetes-friendly lifestyle, visit www.TakingDiabetestoHeart.com.
About Type 2 Diabetes and Heart Disease
When you have type 2 diabetes, it is important to lower the level of sugar in your body. In type 2 diabetes, the body does not make enough insulin, or the insulin that the body makes does not work properly. This can cause blood sugar levels to become too high. The body may also keep making sugar even though it does not need it. Once a person has type 2 diabetes, it does not go away.
According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes is one of the fastest-growing health care problems in the country. Nearly 26 million people in the United States (8.3 percent of the population) have diabetes, and 90 to 95 percent of these cases are type 2 diabetes. It is estimated that one in three Americans born in 2000 will develop diabetes sometime during their lifetime.
Diabetes can lead to serious complications, such as heart disease and stroke. People with type 2 diabetes can lower their risk of serious complications by managing their blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.
Early and effective management of blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol, is a critical component of a treatment plan for managing type 2 diabetes. Diabetes guidelines underscore the importance of managing cholesterol to help reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke, and recommend cholesterol-lowering treatments should be added to lifestyle therapy for appropriate type 2 diabetes patients.
People with type 2 diabetes should talk to their doctor about the blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol goals that are appropriate for them.
Today's Merck is a global healthcare leader working to help the world be well. Merck is known as MSD outside the United States and Canada. Through our prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, and consumer care and animal health products, we work with customers and operate in more than 140 countries to deliver innovative health solutions. We also demonstrate our commitment to increasing access to healthcare through far-reaching policies, programs and partnerships. For more information, visit www.merck.com and connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.