80% of the American public cannot distinguish between type 1 and type 2 diabetes

Posted on November 9, 2010

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“The article glosses over the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Between 5-10 percent of Americans have type 1 diabetes, which occurs when the body does not produce insulin. Patients with type 1 must take insulin for the rest of their lives in order to survive. Because it is an autoimmune disorder, type 1 diabetes is not preventable – an important distinction from type 2 diabetes.”

One of the more noteworthy pieces of the story was the fact that Medtronic recently commissioned a survey (2007 – year) conducted by Harris Interactive which found that 80% of the American public cannot distinguish between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Even more troubling was the finding that nearly 70% (67% to be exact) of those who responded to the poll incorrectly believed there is already a cure for type 1 diabetes! Key findings were as follows:

# 67% mistakenly believed there is a cure for type 1 diabetes

# 51% knew there were two types of diabetes

# 36% thought there was either a “type 3 or 4” diabetes

# 25% believed that proper diet could “cure” the disease

# 32% believed exercise could be a “cure”

Sources: Medtronic Inc., Harris Interactive survey of 2,436 American adults, Minneapolis Star Tribune.

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