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Families Carry A Major Burden of the Diabetes Pandemic, According to New Results From Global Study

Copenhagen, Denmark, 3 December 2012 – Today, the initial results of Diabetes Attitudes, Wishes and Needs 2 (DAWN2™) were announced. It is the largest study of its kind, conducted across 17 countries and 4 continents, into the psychosocial aspects of management of diabetes.

For the first time ever, family members were surveyed – along with people with diabetes, nurses, dieticians, general practitioners and specialists – to find new ways of reducing the burden of the condition.

“The DAWN2™ study confirms that the physical, financial and emotional burden of diabetes across cultures and countries is carried by the entire family, not just by the person with diabetes”, says Professor Mark Peyrot, principal investigator and chair of the international scientific committee overseeing the DAWN2™ study.

The initial results show that:

· 63% of family members are anxious about the possibility that the person they live with will develop serious complications from the condition[1]

· 66% of family members of insulin-treated people with diabetes fear that their loved one will become hypoglycaemic during the night1

· 34% of family members report a negative financial impact on themselves due to the diabetes of their loved one1

· 20% of family members experience that their loved one is being discriminated against because of diabetes and that the community they live in is intolerant of diabetes1

· 35% of people with diabetes report their family argues with them about how they manage their diabetes[2]

· 75% of family members have not attended an education programme about diabetes1, despite at least 70% of diabetes healthcare professionals believe that involvement of family members is a vital part of good diabetes care.[3]

“The DAWN2™ study brings new and important scientific data about the hidden burden of the diabetes pandemic on the families of people with diabetes and the gaps in current healthcare systems. The societal implications of these findings are significant and DAWN2™ results should motivate and compel decision-makers, healthcare providers and patient organisations to act in unity to improve education and support for both people with diabetes and their loved ones,” says Sir Michael Hirst, President Elect of the IDF.

DAWN2™ is a global Novo Nordisk initiative conducted in collaboration with the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), the International Alliance of Patient Organisations (IAPO), the Steno Diabetes Center and a range of other national, regional and global partners.

“DAWN2™ represents our company’s long-term commitment to work in partnership to improve the lives of people with diabetes,” explains Lars Rebien Sørensen, president and chief executive officer of Novo Nordisk. “Even with the best available medicines, people with diabetes depend on diabetes education and day-to-day motivation and support from family, friends and the wider society.”

About DAWN2™
DAWN2™ expands on the original DAWN™ study from 2001 and involves people with diabetes, their families, carers and a wide range of diabetes healthcare professionals as well as patient organisation and diabetes policy experts. The DAWN2™ study is the voice of more than 15,000 persons living with or caring for people with diabetes in 17 countries across 4 continents.

The three main objectives of the DAWN2™ initiative are to:

· advance understanding and awareness of the unmet needs of people with diabetes and their families

· facilitate dialogue and collaboration to strengthen patient involvement and improve self-management and psychosocial support in diabetes care

· to establish international scientific benchmarking system for person-centred diabetes care and health policy.

The DAWN2™ study was conducted during 2012 and will be followed by a comprehensive programme of activities until at least 2016. The results of DAWN™2 will be published in a series of articles starting in the spring of 2013. Additionally, partnership actions will be identified on a global and local level to address the critical needs and gaps identified by the study.

Headquartered in Denmark, Novo Nordisk is a global healthcare company with 89 years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care. The company also has leading positions within haemophilia care, growth hormone therapy and hormone replacement therapy. For more information, visit


Further information


Charlotte Zarp-Andersson
+45 3079 7603

Ken Inchausti (US)
+1 609 514 8316


Kasper Roseeuw Poulsen
+45 4442 4303

Frank Daniel Mersebach
+45 4442 0604

Lars Borup Jacobsen
+45 3075 3479

Jannick Lindegaard (US)
+1 609 786 4575



[1] DAWN2™ Family Members Global Results. Novo Nordisk Data on File. 2012.

[2] DAWN2™ People with Diabetes Global Results. Novo Nordisk Data on File. 2012.

[3] DAWN2™ Healthcare Professionals Global Results. Novo Nordisk Data on File. 2012.

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Posted: December 2012