Survey sponsored by Merck KGaA sees lack of diabetes knowledge in much of the world

November 14 is World Diabetes Day


More than half (56%) of respondents of an international survey are unaware that Type 2 diabetes is avoidable, and 41% do not know what steps to take to prevent or delay the condition. That’s the top-line result of an online survey, sponsored by Merck KGaA and conducted by YouGov.com during October. A total of 9,350 adults in nine countries (Brazil, Mexico, Russia, UAE, Malaysia, Vietnam, China, Saudi Arabia, Chile) participated in the survey.

The survey was conducted in time with World Diabetes Day (Nov. 14), which is organized by the International Diabetes Foundation. “With close to 700 million people predicted to develop type 2 diabetes by 2045, we need to act now to address prediabetes and help prevent a disease that can cause many long-term and permanent complications for people,” said Francois Feig, head of general medicine & endocrinology, Merck. “[It] is crucial that we continue to educate people about the risk factors and the lifestyle changes that can really make a difference.”

Awareness in the US isn’t much better: According to the American Diabetes Assn., there are 30.3 million Americans who have been diagnosed with diabetes and another 84.1 million who are pre-diabetic (meaning their blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be considered Type 2 diabetes). And there are approximately 7.1 million Americans who have diabetes, but don’t know it. More Americans are affected by diabetes than by heart disease (the leading cause of death in the US).