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Diabetes and the family connection

A study surveying 4,300 family members of people living with diabetes, published in Diabetes Therapy, shows that hypoglycaemia, also known as ‘hypos’ or low blood sugar, can be perceived as a substantial burden by family members of people with diabetes.

Almost two-thirds (64%) of family members of people with diabetes report being worried or anxious about the risk of hypoglycaemia. Added to this, 74% of the study participants that were helping their relative with diabetes to manage their hypos, state that they spend less time on, or forego entirely, other activities such as hobbies, holidays or being with other friends or family as a result.

Adam Burt, Corporate Affairs Director at Novo Nordisk UK, which ran the Talk-Hypo study, said: “This study shows that there is a communications barrier between those living with diabetes and their families who are worried and anxious about the health impact of hypos on their loved ones.

“The challenge of managing hypoglycaemia can take a toll on family relationships, impacting on day-to-day life. We hope these insights will encourage more conversations around hypos within families as well as with their doctors, to help build a better understanding of diabetes and strengthen family relationships in the process.”

Key stats from the study show:

To further understand how low blood sugar affects families living with diabetes, Novo Nordisk filmed people with diabetes talking about their experiences, while their family members were in a separate room answering similar questions about their experiences with, and feelings about, low blood sugar. After the interviews, they were shown each other’s answers. These videos are availablehere.

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