Health. In France, 820,000 people do not know they have diabetes

Type 2 diabetes affects 9 out of 10 people with diabetes. It is a silent disease that develops slowly and may cause no symptoms or pain for years. However, it can have serious consequences if not treated early (renal failure, cardiovascular disease, retinopathy, etc.).

A fairly low level of knowledge

According to a Roche Diabetes Care France survey conducted with OpinionWay, the general public and patients show a moderate level of knowledge and understanding of diabetes with a score of 5.4/10. 77% say they know there are two types of diabetes, but only 44% think they know the differences.

The main risk factors are fairly well identified: overweight, unbalanced diet, physical inactivity and heredity… But other markers of the disease are still relatively unknown: hypertension (known to 60% of French people and 67% of patients) and chronic smoking (45% and 56% respectively).

Furthermore, 30% said they did not understand the causes of the disease. ” These results show that there is a need to support patients and the general public more and be more educational says dr. Thomas Wendling, general practitioner in Vendenheim (Bas-Rhin).

Prevention and awareness, the essential elements for a better cure

In France, 820,000 people do not know they have diabetes. That’s why raising awareness is a public health priority. The first obstacles to screening identified by health professionals are the feeling of not needing it (78% of general practitioners, 64% of pharmacists), fear of the diagnosis (55% and 44%), lack of knowledge of diabetes according to pharmacists (49 %). Yet, 91% of French people declare themselves ready to undergo the test if offered, and 81% of pharmacists are willing to start awareness-raising operations within their pharmacy.

A crucial issue when we know that pre-diabetes remains poorly understood. According to the general practitioners interviewed, the level of knowledge of the general public is estimated at around 3/10. However, this stage of pre-diabetes is reversible. By adopting a healthy lifestyle (balanced diet, adequate physical activity, etc.) it is possible to limit the risk of developing diabetes.


What is blood sugar?

It corresponds to the level of sugar or glucose in the blood. In the absence of diabetes, its level is regulated “automatically” by the body thanks to two hormones produced by the pancreas: insulin (which lowers the blood sugar level) and glucagon (which raises it).

Focus on type 2 diabetes

Diabetes is a disease characterized by an abnormal increase in blood sugar levels: hyperglycemia. Under this generic name hide different types of diabetes with different symptoms and specific treatments. Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes. It accounts for 92% of diabetes cases in France. The pathology initially derives from a progressive resistance of the organism to insulin, to which is then added a decrease in the production of insulin by the pancreas. Both cause hyperglycemia.

What is Pre-diabetes?

This is a so-called intermediate form of diabetes which corresponds to higher than normal blood sugar levels associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. This is a fasting blood sugar level between 1.10 g /L and 1.25 g/L (normal fasting blood sugar is less than 1.10 g/L and the diagnosis of diabetes is made from 1.26 g/L.

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“My Diabetes Test”, to raise awareness of type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes

It is with this in mind that Roche Diabetes Care France is implementing the “My Diabetes Test” campaign in partnership with healthcare professionals, especially pharmacists. The principle is simple: an online questionnaire (called Findrisc) helps assess the risk of developing the disease in the next 10 years, through 8 questions related to age, weight, family history, etc.

The result then allows you to go to the pharmacy for advice and possibly carry out a capillary blood sugar test (method that allows you to measure blood sugar with a glucometer) and, if necessary, be referred to your doctor. .

An action acclaimed by health professionals: “ We need to be able to raise awareness and screen as many people as possible. But also having a different approach depending on the audience, leaving our pharmacies, nursing homes, studios… to meet the French. It is essential to offer them time for dialogue and delocalized exchanges, otherwise the number of screenings will not change. comments Thomas Mauny, pharmacist in Caen (Normandy).

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