When Britons think about type 2 diabetes, one of their greatest concerns is potentially needing to inject themselves, as estimated by a new survey released today.
Despite tablets being available to help manage the condition, nearly half (46 percent) of those surveyed still wrongly perceive injections as the main treatment for type 2 diabetes. This misperception amongst the public, and potentially those yet to be diagnosed, is critical, as four out of 10 respondents claim they would be most concerned about having to inject themselves if diagnosed with type 2 diabetes tomorrow.
Furthermore, nine out of 10 said that given the choice they would prefer to take a tablet over an injection, highlighting the need for additional oral medicines, such as ‘Janumet’, a new tablet launched in the UK today for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. ‘Janumet’ is a combination tablet that brings together two leading treatment options into one tablet, reducing the need for multiple treatments and making life simpler for patients, especially those who have injection concerns.
Whilst there are 2.6 million Britons currently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, it is estimated that there are a further 500,000 individuals unaware they are living with the condition.
“It is particularly important that these undiagnosed patients are not deterred from coming forward by misunderstandings around type 2 diabetes,” commented Dr Dawn Harper, GP in Gloucestershire, and leading TV medic.
“If fears exist around injections, people need to know that many type 2 diabetics don’t need injections to manage their condition.”
The findings highlight a lack of knowledge that tablets do exist to treat type 2 diabetes, which may help patients control their blood glucose levels and may in turn delay the need for injections. The survey also found that as a nation we underestimate the impact of type 2 diabetes on our health. Over two-thirds of Britons surveyed did not know that heart problems are a serious complication associated with the condition, despite heart attacks being the most common cause of death in people with diabetes. Less than 20 percent of those surveyed were aware of the link of type 2 diabetes to stroke, and nearly half (43 percent) did not know of the link with deterioration in vision or, in extreme cases, blindness. Only 25 percent realised that the condition, and some of the older medications, can lead to an increase in weight in these patients.
“Whilst the complications associated with type 2 diabetes may result in long-term health problems, it is important to remember that with careful treatment management and lifestyle changes, these can be reduced,” added Dr Dawn Harper.
Some of the older tablets may increase the risk of weight gain in type 2 diabetics. The good news is that newer medicines, such as twice daily pill ‘Janumet’, have a low risk of weight gain, as well as a low risk of ‘hypo’5 (hypoglycaemia, or extreme blood sugar lows). ‘Janumet’, one pill taken twice daily, contains metformin, a widely used diabetes medicine, and ‘Januvia’ (sitagliptin) a new generation of medicine in the class of DPP-4 inhibitors.