‘Abbott Sugar Survey’ Shows 9 out Of 10 People with Uncontrolled Diabetes Believe their Blood Sugar is Actually Under Control



MUMBAI, 11 February 2015 - Abbott, one of India’s leading healthcare companies, along with the Association of Physicians of India (API), announced today the results from a national survey conducted among 1,500 adults with uncontrolled diabetes*1 in the 18 to 65 years age group, 302 caregivers and 60 doctors in India.

Results showed that 90% of people surveyed with uncontrolled* diabetes in India continue to perceive that they have control over their glucose levels, despite facts suggesting otherwise. 'Uncontrolled diabetes' is defined as having HbA1c greater than 7 — a globally accepted measurement for showing how well glucose levels are being managed2.

The ‘Abbott Sugar Survey’ highlights the need for better diabetes management to help people with diabetes in India live healthier lives. More than 50% people with diabetes (mostly females) believe that diabetes has impacted their personal life while males with diabetes believe the condition impacts professional life due to exhaustion and fatigue. Women are also more aware about the impact of diabetes than men.

Findings also point to the need to drive education that uncontrolled diabetes can ultimately lead to additional health complications and the need for better management of their diabetes, as evidenced by the following survey findings:

  • 54% of respondents experienced at least one complication because of poor blood sugar control. Respondents from Delhi and Kolkata reported the highest percentage of complications.
  • Among those who face complications, fluctuating glucose levels is the biggest issue faced and feared.
  • 1 in 3 respondents experienced hypoglycemia [low blood sugar] or hyperglycemia [high blood sugar]. More than 75% of respondents worry about recurrence, especially in the age group of 35 and above.
  • Non-compliance of either diet, medication or exercise are cited as the top three reasons by respondents and caregivers for not -effectively managing diabetes.
  • People with diabetes, doctors and caregivers consider monitoring sugar levels as a key factor in control and management of diabetes, however 50% of respondents monitor their sugar levels only once in three months. (Guidelines recommend that people with type 2 diabetes who have an HbA1c above target or who are uncontrolled monitor their blood sugar levels at least 2 times a day2.)
    • Despite this inadequate monitoring, 40% of the respondents said that they adjust the dose of their medicines themselves to manage their diabetes.

The prevalence of diabetes in India is second largest in the world. According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF)3, India’s population of people living with diabetes today is 65.1 million, as compared to 50.8 million in 2010. That number is expected to cross 100 million by 2030. The economic burden due to diabetes in India is among the highest in the world and studies in India estimate that, for a low-income Indian family with an adult with diabetes, as much as 25% of family income may be devoted to diabetes care4.

“With diabetes already at such epidemic proportions, it is time for people to start taking better control of their blood glucose levels,” said Dr. Shashank R Joshi, a leading Endocrinologist and Diabetologist and President, Association of Physicians of India. “The biggest challenge is that people with diabetes do not have all the tools they need to be able to connect the consequences of uncontrolled diabetes with the impact on their bodies. While people with diabetes feel ‘all is well’, uncontrolled diabetes, leads to heart disease, or eye, kidney or nerve problems. Better awareness and effective control of diabetes can help prevent or reduce the risk of people with diabetes developing these complications and instead help them stay healthy and active.”

Dilip Rajan, Country Head and General Manager of Abbott's diabetes care business said, “Through this research, Abbott is seeking to advance understanding and increase awareness and support for better diabetes management in our country so that ultimately, we can help people with diabetes do more, achieve more and experience more in their lives."

Poor glycemic control, a factor that has been observed in the Indian population with diabetes puts them at increased risk of complications including neuropathy (nerve problems – 24.6%), cardiovascular complications (heart diseases -23.6 %), kidney problems (21.1 per cent), retinopathy (an eye problem at 16.6 per cent) and foot ulcers (5.5 per cent) 5.

According to The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP)6, the four steps to manage diabetes effectively are: following a healthy meal plan, exercising regularly, taking medicines regularly as advised and monitoring glucose levels.


The ‘Abbott Sugar Survey’ was initiated with support from the Association of Physicians of India (API) and conducted by IPSOS Healthcare Research with financial support from Abbott. The study was conducted across eight cities (Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad and Pune) and segmented respondents based on different factors, such as gender, occupation, type of diabetes and age.

The multi-stakeholder survey was conducted across three respondent categories: people with diabetes, their caregivers and doctors. Total sample size covered was 1862, comprising 1500 people with diabetes, 302 caregivers and 60 doctors (39 Diabetologists and 21 Endocrinologists). All people with diabetes recruited for the survey had HbA1c levels of 7 and above and had been living with diabetes for at least a year.

The ‘Abbott Sugar Survey’ was conducted with the aim of understanding the perceptions of respondents about diabetes management, and the challenges people with diabetes, their doctors and caregivers face while managing the condition. The qualitative and quantitative research identified the current apathy regarding effective management of diabetes amongst people with diabetes across major metros in India.

About [Association of Physicians of India]:

The Association of Physicians of India is a professional body of consultant physicians formed in 1944. Its members are physicians with postgraduate qualifications in different specialties. Currently the membership of the association is 15,000 and it is increasing every year. This Association conducts various educational and professional activities for its members throughout the year.

About Abbott

Abbott is a global healthcare company devoted to improving life through the development of products and technologies that span the breadth of healthcare. With a portfolio of leading, science-based offerings in diagnostics, medical devices, nutritionals and branded generic pharmaceuticals, Abbott serves people in more than 150 countries and employs approximately 77,000 people.

In India, Abbott has more than 14,000 employees working in manufacturing, research and development, logistics, sales and marketing and is headquartered in Mumbai.
Visit Abbott at www.abbott.com and connect with us on Twitter at @AbbottNews.


*Control is defined as Hb1Ac < 7. Source: Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes 2014 Diabetes Care Volume 37, Supplement 1, January 2014
1 Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes 2014 Diabetes Care Volume 37, Supplement 1, January 2014
2 Executive Summary: Standards of medical care in diabetes – 2009. Diabetes care 32: S6-S12. 2009.
3 IDF Clinical Guidelines Task Force. Guideline on Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose in Non-Insulin Treated Type 2 Diabetes. Brussels: International Diabetes Federation; 2009
4 International Diabetes Federation Diabetes Atlas, 6th edition 2013
5 http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs236/en/
6 Viswanathan Mohan, Siddharth Shah, Banshi Saboo, Current Glycemic Status and Diabetes
Related Complications Among Type 2 Diabetes Patients in India: Data from the A1chieve Study. http://www.japi.org/january_special_issue_2013_a1chieve/04_oa_current_glycemic_status_and.pdf 7 National Diabetes Educational Program available at: athttp://ndep.nih.gov/media/NDEP67_4Steps_4c_508.pdf



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