ARLINGTON, Va., and DALLAS, May 30, 2019 – Academy-Award® nominated actor Angela Bassett is advocating for a cause close to her heart – the link between type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA), two of the world’s leading organizations in the areas of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, are pleased to announce that Angela Bassett has joined the Know Diabetes by Heart™ initiative.
The award-winning actor, director and producer has previously spoken on the topic and now is using her voice to continue to raise awareness of the link between type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease by sharing her family’s personal journey. To commence her involvement, she invites others to share their stories to become national volunteer ambassadors representing the AHA and ADA’s Know Diabetes by HeartTM initiative to help inspire people living with type 2 diabetes to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease.
“I’ve seen firsthand the impact type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease can have on families,” said Angela Bassett. “Losing my mother – the person who propelled me to pursue my life-long dream of becoming an actor, director and producer – was a major wake-up call to do something to reduce deaths, heart attacks, strokes and heart failure for people living with type 2 diabetes. By joining Know Diabetes by HeartTM, I want to continue to share my story and encourage others to use their voices to shed light on the link between type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease,” she explained.
Now extended through June 12th, people living with type 2 diabetes may apply online and share their stories for the chance to stand alongside Angela Bassett as a national ambassador for the Know Diabetes by HeartTM initiative. Select ambassadors will serve as national volunteer spokespersons for the AHA and the ADA, motivating others to live longer, healthier lives, by sharing their journeys living with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
“Understanding the link between type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, motivated me to make healthy lifestyle changes and to talk about the risk with others, including my uncle Ralph who is living with type 2 diabetes,” said Angela Bassett. “Know Diabetes by HeartTM is making strides in educating and empowering those living with type 2 diabetes to reduce their risk for heart attacks, strokes and heart failure and I’m thrilled to join this initiative to help further its mission.”
People living with type 2 diabetes are two times more likely to develop and die from cardiovascular disease such as heart attacks and strokes. Further, approximately 50 percent of people with type 2 diabetes may develop heart failure.
“As someone living with type 2 diabetes, I know how difficult it is to hear the harsh statistics surrounding the link between these conditions,” said Tracey D. Brown, chief executive officer of the American Diabetes Association. “However, it’s crucial that we awaken the world to the reality that people living with type 2 diabetes are at significantly increased risk for cardiovascular disease, and only we can make the choice to proactively manage that risk. We are beyond excited that Angela Bassett is now an ambassador for the Know Diabetes by HeartTM initiative, given her personal experiences and passion for this cause to motivate others.”
“A supportive community makes all the difference in overcoming the daily challenges that arise when living with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease,” said Nancy A. Brown, chief executive officer of the American Heart Association. “We hope that by highlighting the experiences of real people living with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, including Angela Bassett’s family story, we can build a rich community for people to inspire new health goals, more informed conversations with health care providers, as well as support one another in making lifestyle changes that fuel longer, healthier lives.”
Know Diabetes by HeartTM is made possible with support from founding sponsors, the Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly and Company Diabetes Alliance, and Novo Nordisk, as well as national sponsors, Sanofi and AstraZeneca. For more information, visit KnowDiabetesbyHeart.org.
About Know Diabetes by Heart™
The American Heart Association (AHA) and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) launched the collaborative landmark initiative called Know Diabetes by Heart™ to comprehensively combat the national public health impact of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Through Know Diabetes by Heart™, the AHA and the ADA, with founding sponsors the Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly and Company Diabetes Alliance, and Novo Nordisk, and national sponsors Sanofi and AstraZeneca, are focused on positively empowering people living with type 2 diabetes to better manage their risk for heart disease such as, heart attacks, strokes and heart failure, and supporting health care providers in educating and treating their patients living with type 2 diabetes to reduce their cardiovascular risk. Visit KnowDiabetesbyHeart.org for resources.
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a leading force for a world of longer, healthier lives. With nearly a century of lifesaving work, the Dallas-based association is dedicated to ensuring equitable health for all. We are a trustworthy source empowering people to improve their heart health, brain health and well-being. We collaborate with numerous organizations and millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, advocate for stronger public health policies, and share lifesaving resources and information. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.
About the American Diabetes Association
Every day more than 4,000 people are newly diagnosed with diabetes in America. Nearly 115 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes and are striving to manage their lives while living with the disease. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization fighting to bend the curve on the diabetes epidemic and help people living with diabetes thrive. For nearly 80 years the ADA has been driving discovery and research to treat, manage and prevent diabetes, while working relentlessly for a cure. We help people with diabetes thrive by fighting for their rights and developing programs, advocacy and education designed to improve their quality of life. Diabetes has brought us together. What we do next will make us Connected for Life. To learn more or to get involved, visit us at diabetes.org or call 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383). Information is available in English and Spanish. Join the fight with us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn).
For Media Inquiries:
ADA – Michelle Kirkwood: 703-299-2053; firstname.lastname@example.org
AHA – Kim Haller: 214-706-4858; Kimberly.Haller@heart.org
For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721) heart.org and strokeassociation.org
1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or diabetes.org (emails to: AskADA@diabetes.org)
 The Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration. “Diabetes Mellitus, Fasting Blood Glucose Concentration, and Risk of Vascular Disease: a Collaborative Meta-Analysis of 102 Prospective Studies.” The Lancet, 26 June 2010, www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(10)60484-9/fulltext#%20.
 The American Diabetes Association. “Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes – 2018.” American Diabetes Association: Diabetes Care, 2018, care.diabetesjournals.org/content/41/Supplement_1.