Brussels, Belgium, 28 September 1999: Studies presented at this year's congress of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) show that involving individuals with diabetes in the management of their condition could improve their quality of care. (1,2) The results indicate that most individuals with diabetes believe their condition to be well controlled, despite evidence of the high prevalence of serious long-term complications in type 2 diabetes. (3)
"Many people with type 2 diabetes believe that their diabetes is under control and do not appreciate its progressive nature," said Dr Arun Baksi from the World Health Organization/International Diabetes Federation (WHO/IDF) Patient Empowerment Workshop.
In the long term, excess blood glucose due to diabetes causes irreparable damage to many areas of the body. This can include:
Heart disease . In industrialised countries, 5075% of deaths of people with type 2 diabetes are due to heart disease. (4)
Stroke . The risk of stroke is 24 times higher for people with diabetes in the USA. (4)
Kidney failure about 40% of people with type 1 diabetes develop severe kidney disease by the age of 50. The risk is also increased (17-fold) in those with type 2 diabetes. (4)
Blindness . 15 years after diagnosis with diabetes, 10% of individuals have developed severe visual handicap due to diabetic eye disease. (4)
Nerve Damage . 10% of men with diabetes are impotent and approximately 50% of non-traumatic lower limb amputations are the result of nerve damage due to diabetes. (4)
Despite this, the results of a major UK survey of over 450 individuals with diabetes indicate that only half of individuals receiving oral anti-diabetic drugs are concerned about future health problems. (1) The survey also showed that around three-quarters of individuals believe their condition is well controlled. (1) This sugges
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