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The worldwide diabetes epidemic is continuing to grow - the self-management of the disease is becoming ever more important


Basel – According to current estimates by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), diabetes now affects more than 240 million people worldwide, i.e. more than 5 percent of the entire global adult population, and the number of people with diabetes is expected to increase dramatically to more than 380 million by 2025. In virtually every developed society, diabetes is ranked among the leading causes of blindness, renal failure and lower limb amputation. It is also now one of the leading causes of death due to its effects on cardiovascular disease (70-80 percent of people with diabetes die of cardiovascular disease). Accordingly, comprehensive information, education and support for people with diabetes remain a major topic.

The European Media Workshop held by Bayer HealthCare Diabetes Care offered journalists an opportunity to learn about the significance of diabetes self management from medical experts, advocates and, importantly, from persons living with diabetes. “As one of the largest self-testing businesses in the world, Bayer HealthCare Diabetes Care is committed to fighting diabetes. One way of addressing this disease is through public awareness. We are delighted to provide state-of-the-art information and education to journalists and encourage the media to share this information with their audiences,” said Dr. Roberto Parotelli, Head of Bayer HealthCare Diabetes Care Europe.

Presentations by Thought Leading Diabetes Experts

Anne Marie Felton, Chair of the European Federation of Nurses in Diabetes and Vice-President of the IDF outlined the global “Unite for Diabetes” campaign launched by the IDF to raise awareness of the pandemic diabetes. The goal of the campaign is to rally government support for a United Nations Resolution on diabetes – to raise awareness of this chronic disease and prompt decision-makers to take preventative actions against the growing health challenge.

Dr. Charles H. Raine, Director, Diabetes Control and Endocrinology Center, Orangeburg, South Carolina spoke about the importance of regular monitoring of blood glucose level and Hba1c (long-term glucose) levels for individual treatment of diabetics and prevention of long-term complications of diabetes. In addition, he noted that special parameters such as the post-prandial blood glucose level must also be taken into account to prevent blood glucose peaks and long-term complications.

While blood glucose self-testing has become routine for increasing numbers of persons with diabetes and the industry now provides technically advanced systems, self-testing remains a problematic subject, according to Dr. Raine. He emphasized a study he conducted several years ago, in which he found that approximately 16 percent of persons failed to properly code – or calibrate – their blood glucose meters to the lot of test strips being used.

Dr. Raine also outlined the results of new study he conducted with colleagues that was just published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology.
Speaking of the new study, Dr. Raine said it confirms that significant insulin dose errors can result when blood glucose meters are miscoded. Accurate coding is the key to preventing potentially serious health complications associated with errors in insulin dosing. He and the other authors on the study concluded that, “People should be carefully instructed how to correctly, manually code their meters or should be advised to use a blood glucose meter that does not require manual coding.”

Regular self-testing of blood glucose should be standard practice for people with diabetes who wish to better manage their diabetes, stressed Jo Butler, a Diabetes Consultant Nurse from the United Kingdom. People with diabetes require a great deal of education and instruction in this regard. She therefore sees the role of diabetes consultant nurses as one of providing a program of management, reducing clinical costs, teaching practical skills and education. Only self-monitoring of blood glucose can provide ‘real-time’ feedback on daily blood glucose variations, diet, activity, treatment (pre & post-prandial), confirm hypo/hyperglycemia, illness/stress, facilitate self-management, improve problem-solving skills and guide therapeutic decision-making.

Regular blood glucose measurement and systematic therapy require a great deal of discipline from persons with diabetes. That it is nonetheless possible for persons with diabetes to live a fulfilling life is demonstrated by Evelyn Eichler, an opera singer from South Africa, who gave a lively report on her exciting life between two worlds (Europe and South Africa). Her goal is to encourage others living with diabetes to live their lives fully and not shy away from challenges.

Another example of someone managing their diabetes is Adam Knuth, Count of Knuthenborg, Denmark, who has lived with diabetes for more than 20 years. He recounted his experience in managing diabetes and said that thanks to the constant improvements to blood glucose meter technology and medical progress over the years he has not allowed diabetes to interfere with his lifestyle. In particular he credited new blood glucose monitoring devices that do not have to be manually coded with making his daily life easier.

Bayer Diabetes Care innovations have changed the face of diabetes management. Ever since the first portable blood glucose meter was introduced in 1969, each new generation has brought further benefits for people living with diabetes including : meters with memories, computer interfaces, telephone link-up capability, capillary draw biosensors and multisite lancing. In recent years, Bayer Diabetes Care innovated no coding technology. Most recently, Bayer introduced the new Contour, a 5-second single test meter with no coding, and Breeze 2, a 5-second multi-test disc meter with no coding that is currently being launched in Europe.

Today, Bayer Diabetes Care blood glucose monitoring systems have proved their worth in more than 100 countries. In fact, in Germany, one of the largest markets for Bayer blood glucose meters, the Contour has just been named the winner in a test conducted by “Stiftung Warentest”. “And development is still ongoing,” said David Martin, Head of Marketing at Bayer HealthCare Diabetes Care Europe. “Technical innovations in the field of data transfer such as hospital connectivity solutions and patient telehealth solutions will continue to help improve the lives of people with diabetes”.

Bayer HealthCare
Bayer HealthCare, a subsidiary of Bayer AG, is one of the world’s leading, innovative companies in the healthcare and medical products industry and is based in Leverkusen, Germany. The company combines the global activities of the Animal Health, Consumer Care, Diabetes Care and Pharmaceuticals divisions. The pharmaceuticals business operates under the name Bayer Schering Pharma AG. Bayer HealthCare’s aim is to discover and manufacture products that will improve human and animal health worldwide.

Bayer HealthCare Diabetes Care
Bayer HealthCare, Diabetes Care is a worldwide leader in diabetes, supporting customers in 100 countries. Since the introduction of CLINITEST® reagent tablets in 1941, Bayer has led the way in diabetes care product innovation. The company changed the face of diabetes care in 1969 when it introduced the first portable blood glucose meter and test strips. Bayer HealthCare further innovated diabetes management by being the first company to introduce a suite of blood glucose monitors with No Coding™ technology. The BREEZE® and CONTOUR® blood glucose monitoring systems offer people with diabetes an unparalleled choice in diabetes management systems. The Arthritis Foundation in the United States and the Arthritis Society of Canada each granted Ease-of Use Commendation to the BREEZE meter, representing the first time a blood glucose meter has been recognized as easy to use for arthritis sufferers. CONTOUR has been declared the winner in a test of blood glucose meters of the German Stiftung Warentest.
In July 2006, Bayer Diabetes Care acquired Metrika Inc., maker and manufacturer of A1CNow+®, a meter-based diabetes monitoring system for measurement of HbA1c (glycated hemoglobin) an important indicator of long term blood sugar control.
Bayer HealthCare, Diabetes Care global headquarters is located in Tarrytown, New York, in the United States and operates as part of Bayer HealthCare LLC, a member of the worldwide Bayer HealthCare group.

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