Sun Life Study: Many Filipinos ill-informed about diabetes

A GAP in the Filipinos’ knowledge about diabetes was revealed in the latest Diabetes Awareness Study conducted by Sun Life Financial Asia.

For instance, 24 percent think there is only one form of diabetes, while 37 percent believe it is curable.

Moreover, seven percent think diabetes can be caught from others, and that those with diabetes should not be allowed to have children.

On average, Filipinos estimate that 52 percent of the country’s adult population currently has diabetes, and that those with diabetes will live 33 less years than those without.

Even diabetic Filipinos themselves are quite ill-informed, where 53 percent of them think that the illness is curable, while 21 percent also believe that it can be caught from others. There are 61 percent of these respondents discovered diabetes in regular checkup, while 29 percent learned about it after a hospital visit for health complications.

Many are also unaware that gestational diabetes, which may develop during a woman’s pregnancy, can affect baby’s health where the baby may have trouble breathing, experience low blood sugar, or develop a large head. At least 26 percent even think children can outgrow diabetes, and 19 percent believe that pregnant women have lower risks of contracting diabetes.

In order to get a clearer view of how pregnant women themselves understand gestational diabetes, Sun Life also surveyed a sample of pregnant women, which revealed that 12 percent of recently pregnant women are diabetic.

There are 22 percent of recently pregnant women don’t know that pregnant women have higher risk of diabetes, while 25 percent of recently pregnant women mostly unaware of risks from gestational diabetes.

Over half of recently pregnant women not aware of the risks that gestational diabetes may bring babies.

As the world marks Diabetes Day on Nov. 14, Sun Life has called on Filipinos to keep their health in check and to learn more about the debilitating disease, especially since the Philippines is considered to be a hotspot for diabetes.

“We have been campaigning for diabetes awareness for many years now, and, in partnership with relevant organizations, we aim to continue helping bridge the knowledge gap and providing venues where Filipinos can work on their health and wellness,” Sun Life Financial Philippines chief marketing officer Mylene Lopa said. “Sun Life will continue to explore ways that we can boost our efforts and hopefully, in addition to helping Filipinos achieve lifetime financial security, we can also help them lead healthier lives.”
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