More than two in three people with diabetes already have complications at diagnosis: IDF study

14 November 2023 | News

Diabetes-related complications can be serious and, in some cases, life-threatening

Seven in ten people living with diabetes (72%) only found out they had diabetes after developing complications associated with the condition. Additionally, almost all (94%) of those surveyed had experienced one or more diabetes complications during the course of their life with diabetes.

The findings come from global research recently carried out by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), for World Diabetes Day on Tuesday, 14 November. The survey was conducted among people living with diabetes across AfricaAsiaEurope and South America to understand the level of awareness and impact of diabetes-related complications.

Diabetes-related complications can be serious and, in some cases, life-threatening. They include damage to the heart, eyes, kidneys and feet. The risk of complications places significant stress on people living with diabetes. More than half (55%) of respondents say they worry most days about developing diabetes-related complications.

The risk of complications can be significantly reduced through early detection, timely treatment and informed self-care. When asked about preventing their complications, four out of five respondents (84%) believe they could have done more; close to two thirds (62%) think their healthcare provider could have done more.

Commenting on the research findings, IDF President Professor Akhtar Hussain said, "More needs to be done to improve diabetes awareness and provide education to support the early detection and management of complications. What we have learned offers a stark reminder that diabetes often goes undetected until one or more complications are present. Healthcare professionals must be equipped with the knowledge and resources to diagnose diabetes early and provide appropriate support."



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