Endocrinologists and Adults with Type 1 Diabetes Struggle to Keep Blood Sugar within Recommended Range Yet Remain Hopeful and Optimistic About the Future of Disease Management
The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) today announced results of two recent online surveys, conducted by The Harris Poll that assessed the attitudes of endocrinologists and adults living with type 1 diabetes (T1D) in the United States. The T1D Unmet Needs surveys examined the support, management and treatment of the disease and why it is important to continue prioritizing and advancing innovation to help people achieve better outcomes. More than 70 percent of endocrinologists and adults with T1D surveyed stated that recent advances in T1D give them hope that there will eventually be a cure, yet an overwhelming majority agreed that more advances are currently needed to help improve the lives of those with the disease. These national surveys were supported by Lexicon Pharmaceuticals and Sanofi US.
Specifically, these findings reveal:
• While 73 percent of both endocrinologists and adults with T1D stated that recent advances in the T1D space give them hope for a cure, they still seek more; with 87 percent of those with T1D and 93 percent of endocrinologists agreeing with the sentiment that more advances are needed to improve the lives of those with T1D.
• Additional data show that nearly all endocrinologists (97%) said that their patients want options to help them better manage their disease, with 82 percent of those with T1D in agreement.
“Over the past five years, the type 1 diabetes landscape has vastly evolved. With new technology, genetic research and testing, and finger stick-free monitoring devices, it’s truly an exciting and unprecedented time in healthcare, and in diabetes in particular. However, the data from these surveys are an important reminder that there is still a lot of work to be done to meet the needs of the type 1 diabetes community,” said George Grunberger, MD, FACP, FACE, chairman at Grunberger Diabetes Institute in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. “Physicians should ensure they are working in partnership with their patients to review new research that might address both therapeutic and disease management challenges.”
Despite Progress, People Living with T1D Still Struggle with the Impact the Disease Has on Their Lives
For those living with T1D, everyday situations that other people take for granted can be challenging and ultimately have an adverse impact on their lives. For instance, 88 percent of adults with T1D said that living with the disease adds stress to their lives and that they avoid going out to eat (57%) or attending social gatherings with family and friends (49%) because of their disease.
These challenges extend into disease management, as adults living with T1D said they struggle the most with keeping their blood sugar within recommended range (58%) and achieving individualized target A1C levels (48%). Endocrinologists agreed that these are the top things their patients struggle with. Approximately 77 percent of adults with T1D wish they had a medication to help them stay within the recommended blood sugar range for longer periods of time. Endocrinologists are not immune to the effects these challenges have on their patients as 93 percent wish there was more they could do for them.
"These findings highlight the ongoing need to provide support to adults living with type 1 diabetes,” said Rachele Berria, MD, PhD, head of US Diabetes Medical Affairs at Sanofi. “We have collaborated with AACE and Lexicon Pharmaceuticals to ensure these unmet needs are brought to the forefront in the hopes that increased awareness will help to transform care for people living with type 1 diabetes.”
Opportunities Exist to Improve Education and Cross-Share Knowledge
Almost all endocrinologists (97%) said they keep their patients informed of advances in T1D and, overall, adults with T1D and physicians were aligned in many aspects of their views of T1D. However, opportunities exist to further align as evident by some of the biggest gaps in knowledge including:
• Virtually all endocrinologists (99%) are knowledgeable about non-insulin pathways, yet less than half (45%) of those with T1D knew about them.
• Regarding other advances, one third of endocrinologists (32%) believe “artificial pancreases” have the greatest potential for positive impact on their patients with T1D but many adults living with T1D (28%) don’t know anything about that advancement.
“These findings represent an opportunity to enhance education and cross-share information about innovation that might ultimately improve type 1 diabetes care and outcomes,” said Pablo Lapuerta, MD, executive vice president and chief medical officer at Lexicon. “Lexicon and our partners at Sanofi are committed to bettering the lives of the millions of people around the world living with diabetes. We understand that living with type 1 diabetes is an everyday challenge and through our collaboration with AACE, we hope to call attention to the unresolved needs of the type 1 diabetes community, specifically.”
For more information on the challenges faced by people living with T1D, please visit gobeyondinsulinalonet1d.com.
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