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EU study shows struggle to control diabetes September 20, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Health.

An in-depth survey of more than 750 patients with type 2 diabetes across Europe reveals that poor management of diabetes is a serious challenge for individual patients, as well as a significant burden on the healthcare systems.

The Choose Control survey results discussed today at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) in Amsterdam point to serious cost implications resulting from patients struggling to manage their diabetes, the care needed to treat the long-term health issues associated with poor diabetes management and the increasing number of people being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes each year in Europe.

“There are more than 53 mln people in Europe suffering from type 2 diabetes and its associated complications, including blindness, kidney failure, nerve problems and heart attack, it costs the healthcare systems nearly 3.5 times more to care for these people than people without the disease1,2,” said Professor Eberhard Standl, Chairman Munich Diabetes Research Institute and President-elect International Diabetes Federation Europe.

“The Choose Control survey results validate the need for better disease management to alleviate the enormous costs associated with the disease and its long-term complications.”

With nearly 5% of healthcare budgets across Europe being spent on people with type 2 diabetes, it’s important to understand how to delay the progression or prevent the disease. The Choose Control survey was fielded to validate the need for more consistent education around the disease and successful management/treatment strategies.

Key findings from the survey results show that more than 75% of patients who are not successfully managing type 2 diabetes believe they are adequately controlling the disease. Half of the patients surveyed believe they have `mild’ diabetes while admitting that they do not fully understand the importance of HbA1c targets as a key indicator of successful blood sugar control and are not aware of the complications associated with the disease.

The Choose Control report summarizes recommendations on how to tackle the diabetes issue:

* Provide practical intervention strategies which enable patients to change behaviour, for example, losing weight can be a positive motivating factor;
* Increase awareness and understanding about the importance of meeting HbA1c targets;
* Empower healthcare professionals and patients to take appropriate action when patients are uncontrolled;
* Educate people with Type 2 diabetes about insulin – reduce their fears and not use it as a threat in the early stages of diabetes;
* Provide improved disease management strategies that can help patients gain effective control of their diabetes.

“Many European countries will see a dramatic increase in diabetes by 2025, and we believe better patient education can offset many of the costs associated with caring for people with type 2 diabetes,” said Dr. Andreas Liebl, Medical Director of the Center for Diabetes and Metabolism in Bad Heilbrunn, Germany.

“Tight blood sugar management, good glycaemic control and weight control at every stage of the disease’s progression are crucial to managing it and helping relieve the existing economic burden on the healthcare systems.”

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