Lack of knowledge about type 2 diabetes risk factors – survey

blood droplets containing type 1 and type 2 in lettering to show Lack of knowledge about type 2 diabetes risk factors

An international survey published to mark World Diabetes Day shows a lack of knowledge about type 2 diabetes risk factors. The results of the survey, initiated by Merck and conducted by YouGov, indicate that there is a need to better educate people on the risk factors of type 2 diabetes, which can be prevented.

Merck has released the results of research that show a lack of knowledge about the risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes internationally. More than half (56%) of the respondents were not aware the condition may be preventable and 41% were unaware of the steps that can be taken to prevent or delay the development of the condition.

Over 450 million people worldwide are currently living with diabetes and it is believed that one in two are undiagnosed. The majority of these cases are type 2 diabetes, which can be prevented or delayed through a number of lifestyle factors and medication. The results of this survey demonstrate a great unmet need for education on preventing or delaying type 2 diabetes.

Further insights show almost half (46%) of respondents across all countries were either unaware (30%) or unsure (16%) that having a family member with diabetes increases the risk of developing the condition. Under a third (29%) believed signs and symptoms of early stage diabetes can be observed, whereas it normally has no signs and symptoms and can only be diagnosed with lab tests.

This World Diabetes Day, Merck hopes that the alarming findings of the survey will encourage people to become more aware of the risk factors of developing type 2 diabetes, and encourage those at risk to see a healthcare professional for further advice to adopt recommended healthy lifestyle changes or take a medication if needed.

The survey was undertaken for Merck by YouGov between 14-22 October 2019. A total of 9,350 adults in nine countries (Brazil, Mexico, Russia, UAE, Malaysia, Vietnam, China, Saudi Arabia, Chile) participated in the survey.