Preventing Diabetes Complications to Improve Outcomes

More than 84 million people in America have diabetes or are on the verge of getting it, and 90% of these people have type 2 diabetes. Between 2002 and 2007, the cost of diabetes-related complications to the United States healthcare system more than doubled from $24.6 billion to $58 billion. In many cases, type 2 diabetes can be managed or avoided with lifestyle changes like weight loss and exercise. Unfortunately, many people with type 2 diabetes struggle to find the motivation needed to make these changes. As a result, they are experiencing life-altering complications such as heart attack, stroke, blindness, limb amputation, and kidney failure at alarming rates. New Survey Data A survey commissioned by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals and conducted by Sermo recently convened a multidisciplinary steering committee to assess attitudes about diabetes-related complications. It showed that complications are prevalent in type 2 diabetes. More than 40% of physicians surveyed said that over half of their patients develop at least one complication as a result of uncontrolled type 2 diabetes. Nearly all physicians surveyed (94%) believed that kidney health is an important consideration in understanding the risk of other complications, but 40% did not believe the majority of their newly diagnosed patients even know that type 2 diabetes can lead to kidney disease. “To reduce the disease burden, complications related to type 2 diabetes must be decreased.” Physicians participating in the survey reported that lack of motivation, lack of medication adherence, and an inability to lose weight were the most common reasons for ineffective control of their patients’ type 2 diabetes. Compliance with lifestyle modifications and medications and poor...