Survey on Patient Knowledge of Insulin Resistance

Survey on Patient Knowledge of Insulin Resistance

Monica Preboth

Lack of knowledge about insulin resistance, an underlying cause of type 2 diabetes mellitus (formerly known as non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus), may be the main predictor of poor disease control among affected persons. According to a national survey released by the American Association of Diabetes Educators, nearly two thirds of patients with diabetes do not understand or have never heard of insulin resistance.

The association commissioned a telephone survey of more than 1,000 persons with type 2 diabetes who were more than 45 years of age. Survey participants were asked questions about their condition, current treatment regimen, hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and blood glucose levels, and sources of information about the disease. Of the patients surveyed, 88 percent reported that modified diet and exercise are part of their current treatment plan and 84 percent reported the current use of oral medication.

The survey found that patients who could not define insulin resistance have substantially poorer control of their blood glucose levels and HbA1c. The survey also revealed that 72 percent of patients want more information about the disease, but 75 percent do not seek support in coping with diabetes. While 92 percent of patients are aware of their current blood sugar level and 88 percent know their target goal for blood sugar level, 75 percent of participants do not know their HbA1c level and 77 percent do not know the recommended level for control. Ninety-seven percent of patients are being treated by a physician, but only 28 percent of patients have discussed insulin resistance with a physician.

The American Association of Diabetes Educators is a multidisciplinary organization that represents more than 10,000 health care professionals who provide diabetes education and care. More information on the association and the survey may be obtained by calling 800-TEAM-UP-4 (800-832-6874) or by visiting the association Web site at http://www. aadenet.org.

COPYRIGHT 2000 American Academy of Family Physicians

COPYRIGHT 2000 Gale Group