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 U.S. Diabetes Population Doubled in Past Decade With Continued Growth Fueled by 77 Million Pre-Diabetic Patient Population, According to Study by GfK Market Measures’ Roper Global Diabetes Group 
by Healthy News - 4/2/2008
Research reveals profile of sizable pre-diabetic population and uncovers opportunities for early diagnosis and prevention

EAST HANOVER, NJ, March 20, 2008 — Nearly 77 million Americans are estimated to be pre-diabetic or at increased risk for developing diabetes in the future, leading to a growing awareness about and increased use of the designation "pre-diabetes” in the health care market, according to new research from GfK Market Measures’ Roper Global Diabetes Group.  The pre-diabetic patient population is helping fuel growth in the number of diagnosed diabetes patients in the United States, which last year rose 7 percent to 16.6 million over the prior year – double the patient population in 1997.

As an indication of health care providers’ and patients’ increased adoption of the term "pre-diabetes,” a recent study reveals that almost 70 percent of patients diagnosed with diabetes within the past year were told by their physician that they were in some way pre-diabetic, compared with 50 percent of patients diagnosed with diabetes more than a year ago.  With no market projections for the entire pre-diabetes market available, GfK Market Measures’ Roper Global Diabetes Group used its 2007 U.S. Pre-Diabetes Patient Market Study as a basis to estimate a population of 76.8 million pre-diabetes and at-risk patients, comprised of 22.8 million Americans who have been formally diagnosed with a pre-diabetic condition and another 54 million who are at increased risk for developing diabetes in the future but have not yet been diagnosed with a pre-diabetic condition.  Without intervention, pre-diabetes patients will progress to Type 2 diabetes at a rate of 10 percent per year, according to the National Diabetes Education Program.

In comparing the demographics of the diagnosed and undiagnosed pre-diabetes populations, GfK Market Measures’ study uncovers several important findings for this substantial and complex market.  In terms of age, the diagnosed pre-diabetes population tends to be younger than the undiagnosed population, with 87 percent under age 64 (compared with 80 percent under age 64 for undiagnosed patients) with an average age of 45 (compared with an average age of 48 for undiagnosed patients).

Specific to gender, the diagnosed population is more likely than the undiagnosed population to be female (60 percent compared with 40 percent).  Regarding weight, while both categories are equally likely to experience morbid obesity at 17 percent each, diagnosed patients are far less likely to fall into the obese category, at 23 percent compared with 37 percent of undiagnosed patients.  Correspondingly, diagnosed patients are three times as likely to fall into the underweight or healthy category, at 28 percent compared with just 10 percent of undiagnosed patients.  Finally, in terms of conditions, the profile of diagnosed patients reveals that more than 50 percent report having a family history of Type 2 diabetes, compared with 30 percent of undiagnosed patients.  Hypertension and cholesterol problems seem to affect both patient categories similarly, with nearly 40 percent of each reporting these conditions.

Patients’ treatment of pre-diabetes and weight problems have not yet reached their potential.  GfK’s research revealed that only 9 percent of diagnosed patients report taking prescription medication to treat their pre-diabetic condition.  For both diagnosed and undiagnosed patients with a weight situation, treatment with a prescription medication is even less common with only 1 percent of patients using medication.  But 76 percent of all pre-diabetes patients report taking prescription medication for their high blood pressure and more than 50 percent take a prescription for their cholesterol problems.  Although treatment rates for these disorders were higher, there are still opportunities for improvement.  As additional steps taken to treat their condition, most diagnosed patients report exercising regularly (66 percent) and losing weight via a calorie-restricted diet (44 percent), though these activities still lag behind the health care professional’s recommendations.

"Two findings contrast the varying degree to which this pre-diabetes group is serious about preventing or delaying a diabetes diagnosis,” said David Jacobson, senior vice president of GfK Market Measures’ Roper Global Diabetes Group.  "On one hand, nearly a quarter of patients don’t take any steps to treat their pre-diabetic condition, representing a market segment that, given the right messaging, might in time be swayed to adopt novel treatment therapies.  Conversely, we are encouraged by the proactive behavior we discovered on the part of other patients.  Nearly twenty percent of all pre-diabetes patients report having been recommended to test for sugar, and more than 10 percent of all pre-diabetes patients report actually testing – with more than half of them testing once or more a week.”

Mr. Jacobson said the findings overall "signal a significant opportunity for pharmaceutical companies to help reshape the diabetes paradigm through early diagnosis and prevention.  Here, companies can educate physicians and patients about new treatments for pre-diabetes in a market that is preparing to embrace a more aggressive approach to diabetes prevention.”

1,200 Pre-Diabetes Patients Share Their Insights

Reflecting insights from 1,191 diagnosed and undiagnosed ("at-risk” for diabetes patients), fielded via in-depth telephone interviews through September 2007, GfK Market Measures Roper Global Diabetes Group’s 2007 U.S. Pre-Diabetes Patient Market Study provides a comprehensive perspective of the pre-diabetes market, covering market structure, demographics, salient pre-diabetes conditions and current treatments. 

Provided by Healthy News on 4/2/2008
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