National Diabetes Awareness Month: Biggest Challenges, Looking Forward


Marking the close of National Diabetes Awareness Month, SERMO asked our members to share their thoughts on the biggest challenges in the fight against Type 1 diabetes. Advocates have been working this month to not only raise awareness of diabetes, but also help those who have the disease better manage it. Despite these efforts to fight diabetes, many obstacles remain for patients and their doctors.

So what are the biggest challenges when it comes to fighting Type 1 diabetes? SERMO surveyed more than 900 U.S. doctors to find the answer. Identifying a cure was deemed the largest challenge at 46 percent – nearly half the total vote. Second was insulin mismanagement with 26 percent, followed by insulin management device development with 16 percent, and alternative treatment options with 12 percent.

In a global poll, SERMO asked more than 1,200 doctors the same question and found that global doctors agree: identifying a cure is the top challenge (38 percent). Insulin management device development was second at 32 percent, followed by alternative treatment options at 17 percent, and insulin mismanagement with 13 percent.

Just five percent of the 25 million+ Americans with diabetes suffer from Type 1, an autoimmune illness that is most common in children and young adults, according to the American Diabetes Association. This iteration of the disease occurs when the body fails to produce insulin, which is needed for glucose to transfer from the bloodstream into the cells.

Managing diabetes and its associated health complications is a lifelong task for those diagnosed. Diabetes remains the seventh leading cause of death in America.  Looking beyond Diabetes Awareness Month, advocates and researchers continue to make headway towards a cure.  New treatments and studies, such as the use of ruboxistaurin or the hypertension drug verapamil, are being developed in the pursuit of preventing and curing type 1 diabetes, but only time will tell how effective these endeavors will be.

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