The diaTribe Foundation Celebrates its First Anniversary as a Nonprofit: Companion Survey Suggests Psychological Toll of Diabetes
San Francisco, December 2, 2014 – The diabetes education and advocacy non-profit, The diaTribe Foundation (diatribe.org/foundation), celebrated its one-year anniversary with a wide-ranging diabetes patient survey.
Developed for the first ever FDA-patient dialogue on diabetes, the survey asked more than 7,400 people impacted by diabetes their thoughts about the most urgent needs associated with the disease. The top findings included:
- 72% of type 1s and 53% of type 2s said that their diabetes made it difficult for them to plan for the future.
- Two thirds of type 1s (67%) and almost half of type 2s (48%) felt the disease impacted their ability to take on life’s challenges.
- Almost half of respondents with type 1 diabetes (45%), and almost one third of people with type 2 (30%) reported depression as a major complication of the disease.
- Self-confidence was negatively affected in over 65% of type 1s and nearly 50% of type 2s.
- Diabetes affected success at work or school: type 1, (67%); type 2, (28%); and in family relationships: type 1, (43%); type 2, (35%).
The online survey was conducted by the San Francisco-based diabetes research company, dQ&A (d-qa.com). Shared in collaboration with the diabetes community by email, social media, and patient groups, the survey was conducted from October 15 to October 23, 2014 and results were shared with FDA leadership. More details can be found at diaTribe.org/survey.
“For all the improvements in diabetes care, the survey confirms the significant physical and emotional toll that the disease continues to take,” said Kelly Close, founder of The diaTribe Foundation. “That’s why the Foundation looks to not only educate people about diabetes, but also to advocate for programs and policies that will help people with diabetes to succeed in all parts of their lives.”
The diaTribe Foundation publishes diaTribe (diaTribe.org), an educational resource focusing on diabetes and obesity. Ms. Close started the publication in 2006 as a resource for patients and caregivers. By 2013, she was reaching more than 20,000 people monthly, and to expand it, diaTribe needed a permanent home with its own resources.
"The diaTribe Foundation has made a very positive impact on the diabetes community,” said Robert E. Ratner, MD, FACP, FACE, the Chief Scientific and Medical Officer of the American Diabetes Association. “diaTribe, the publication, has long been one of the most patient-friendly resources available, and The diaTribe Foundation has forcefully demonstrated its ability to amplify the diabetes patient's voice in ways that are desperately needed."
Ms. Close, who is recognized internationally as an expert on diabetes and obesity markets and was named the American Diabetes Association (ADA) Best Diabetes Communicator of 2012, has quickly expanded The diaTribe Foundation’s focus.
This year, The diaTribe Foundation has co-hosted a first-of-its kind patient event with the FDA, organized and hosted a panel discussion in Vienna, Austria with leading diabetes researchers, sponsored 10 individuals to speak at key FDA hearings, and helped lead TheStateofDiabetes.org campaign for this year’s World Diabetes Day.
Simultaneously, Ms. Close and her team have expanded the diaTribe educational resource from a monthly publication into a more frequent biweekly that has more than doubled its unique visitors to over 330,000 and quadrupled its Facebook traffic in the past year.
“The Foundation started with diaTribe but now it does much more than create an educational resource,” Ms. Close said. “With deep insight in the patient experience and our fingers on the pulse of research and treatments, The diaTribe Foundation is raising the level of conversation to make all of our world’s investments in diabetes care and research more impactful.”
The survey had a total of 7,458 respondents. More than 65% of respondents were patients (n=3,999) and 35% were parents of children with diabetes or partners/caregivers of people with diabetes (n=2,182). While a majority of the survey takers were type 1 patients or caregivers, over 1,000 respondents have type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes poses one of the largest challenges in healthcare today: nearly 1 in 10 Americans have diabetes, and the country spends $278 billion on the disease every year. By the year 2035, it’s projected that over 776 million people in the world will have diabetes, up from 387 million today. In fact, if all of those affected by diabetes globally were part of a single nation, they would make up the third most populous country on the planet.
The diaTribe Foundation
The diaTribe Foundation (diatribe.org/foundation), founded in 2013, is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of people with diabetes and prediabetes, and advocating for action.
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Alexander J. Wolf
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