what we're reading
The Diabetes Barometer
Barometers have never quite conjured up the image of ~80 pages of hard hitting truths and revealing statistics on diabetes. At least not until a week before World Diabetes Day 2007 when Novo Nordisk published the first report of its Changing Diabetes Barometer.
It has taken us a fair amount of time to understand the important role this vast "global pressure gauge" will play in diabetes as this epidemic unfolds.
The Novo Nordisk Changing Diabetes Barometer is an annual collection of facts, figures, ideas, and innovations based on data collected nationally and internationally. Lise Kingo, Executive Vice President at Novo Nordisk, best explained the concept of the barometer when she said, "We have been driving the fight against diabetes in the dark for far too long. We need to put the lights on. We need to keep score of our shared efforts against diabetes to drive sustainable change." While patients, families, physicians, and industry attack diabetes from multiple angles, it is important to keep a record of all approaches, progress ,and results. This record will help thought-leaders to better map out new research directions since we cannot know where we're going if we do not know where we have been.
In this first volume of the Barometer, Novo Nordisk covered 21 pilot countries. They highlighted the achievements of a subset of these countries that have had national diabetes associations for long enough to have faced substantial challenges and overcome them. The report discusses trends key to diabetes prevention and management globally. One finding, for example, was that only a third of the countries studied regularly track key measures like blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. To boot, the report found that very few of the countries have the right systems in place to accurately measure diabetes statistics.
We look forward to the second volume, which will provide further examples of best practices in diabetes worldwide and include information on the Changing Diabetes Barometer Scholarship.