Survey Reveals Significant Public Lack of Diabetes Awareness
"The diabetes community has speculated for some time about the public's poor understanding of type 1 diabetes. These survey results unfortunately confirm our fears," said Francine Kaufman, MD, director of the Comprehensive Childhood Diabetes Center and head of the Center for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. "Type 1 diabetes is a life-long disease that occurs most often in children, although it can manifest itself in adults. Type 1 requires daily intensive insulin therapy to maintain a normal quality of life, and has nothing to do with a patient's diet or lack of exercise."
In the survey, nearly 70 percent of people incorrectly believed a cure existed for type 1 diabetes. The majority of respondents mentioned proper diet (25%), weight loss (18%), exercise (22%), insulin (16%) or other medication (12%) - as ways patients could cure their type 1 diabetes. These misconceptions reaffirm many of the myths associated with the disease. They also draw attention away from the need for intensive and aggressive insulin management of type 1 diabetes to reduce the incidence of long-term complications. Some of the most advanced therapy options currently available for patients include insulin pump therapy and continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems.
In order to dispel the myths associated with type 1 diabetes, and raise awareness of currently available therapy options, Medtronic is funding a series of educational initiatives across the county this summer. These local events, the first taking place in Miami this May, will educate interested individuals in the epidemiology and therapy options for type 1 diabetes. Presenters will share their experiences with the newest diabetes treatments available, and how these therapies can improve health outcomes and quality of life.
These educational activities will coincide with the unveiling of a new informative Web site, www.RealDiabetesControl.com, where patients can access information about the latest treatment options to improve their diabetes control. Patients also have the opportunity to sign up for an educational seminar in their local area.
"As the nation's attention turns to type 2 diabetes for the American Diabetes Alert on March 27th, it is important for people not to forget the more than one million Americans with type 1 diabetes," said Dr. Kaufman. "There is an immediate need for greater public understanding of diabetes, and the most effective ways to help diabetes patients live longer, healthier lives."
Type 1 diabetes develops when the body's immune system destroys pancreatic beta cells, the only cells that make insulin--a necessary hormone to regulate blood glucose. Type 1 patients depend on daily delivery of insulin from an insulin pump or injections to survive. Insulin pumps are the most advanced method for precise and adjustable insulin delivery. Many patients experience improved quality of life with insulin pump therapy combined with CGM technology, which is clinically proven to help patients monitor and better control their diabetes. For more information about type 1 diabetes and its treatment options, please visit www.RealDiabetesControl.com.
Survey Key Findings
-- 78 percent of those polled did not know the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes
-- 67 percent of the population mistakenly believed there is a cure for type 1 diabetes
-- Only 51 percent knew that there were two types of diabetes
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive(R) on behalf of Medtronic between March 7 and 9, 2007, via its QuickQuery(SM) online omnibus service, among 2,436 U.S. adults aged 18 years and older. Figures for region, age within gender, education, household income, race/ethnicity were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.
With a pure probability sample of 2,436 one could say with a ninety-five percent probability that the overall results would have a sampling error of +/- 3 percentage points. Sampling error for data based on sub-samples would be higher and would vary. However, that does not take other sources of error into account. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
-- According to the American Diabetes Association, almost 21 million Americans (seven percent of the population) have diabetes.(1)
-- More than one million patients in the US have type 1 diabetes, often referred to as juvenile diabetes.(2)
-- Diabetes is the fifth-deadliest disease in the United States,(3) and costs the United States more than $132 billion in direct and indirect costs.(4)
-- About 28 percent of diabetes patients use insulin to control their disease.(5) That means almost six million Americans require insulin to manage their diabetes.
About the Diabetes Business at Medtronic
The diabetes business at Medtronic (www.medtronic-diabetes.com) is the world leader in diabetes management. The company's products include insulin pump therapy, continuous glucose monitoring systems, related disposable products and diabetes management software. In March 2007, Medtronic received FDA approval for pediatric use of its CGM systems for children and teenagers ages 7-17, marking a fundamental shift in children's ability to manage their diabetes. The company also launched the Guardian(R) REAL-Time System, featuring the new MiniLink(TM) REAL-Time Transmitter - a rechargeable, waterproof transmitter approximately one-third the size of previous Medtronic transmitters.
Medtronic, Inc. (www.medtronic.com), headquartered in Minneapolis, is the global leader in medical technology, alleviating pain, restoring health and extending life for millions of people around the world.
Any forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties such as those described in Medtronic's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended April 28, 2006. Actual results may differ materially from anticipated results.
(2) US Opportunities in Drug Delivery Technologies published by Health Research International in July 2004
Steve Sabicer, 818-576-4826
Jeff Warren, 763-505-2696
Posted: March 2007