Cardiologist and Professor of Preventive Cardiology and Global Health Laurence Sperling presents at the European Society of Cardiology and World Congress of Cardiology in Paris on Sept. 2 / Courtesy Laurence Sperling

Cardiologist and Professor of Preventive Cardiology and Global Health Laurence Sperling presented a global roadmap for addressing cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in people affected by diabetes on Sept. 2 to the European Society of Cardiology and World Congress of Cardiology in Paris.

The roadmap, a collaborative project between the World Heart Federation (WHF) and the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), will provide an “implementation toolkit” for healthcare providers, governments and educators to tackle obstacles in diabetes-linked CVD prevention. 

The roadmap presents an integrated treatment approach between various medical disciplines, such as cardiology, nutrition and psychology. 

Sperling, who believes that “health care is a team sport,” called the rapid spread of diabetes-linked CVD an “epidemic” and a “crisis” that is “changing the face of health across the world.”

The roadmap seeks to bridge the health care gap in resource-deprived regions by introducing trained “community healthcare workers” at existing healthcare providers. The workers would apply a collective action framework that would cover the key areas of communication, education, collaboration, research, advocacy, agency and leadership in addressing the crisis.

The locally adaptive implementation toolkit, developed by WHF, will allow for the customized application of the action framework to specific circumstances. The WHF is also developing a “build your own roadmap” program that will allow people to customize a plan of action based on individual circumstances and needs. 

Sperling warned that Emory lies at the “epicenter” of this health crisis, as the Southeast U.S. region demonstrates a particularly high risk for diabetes-linked CVD. 

He noted that the University is capable of affecting tremendous impact on the Atlanta area by implementing its proposed integrated approach to diabetes-linked CVD prevention.