11/18/2009 - Articles

Men unaware of diabetes status

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD


Diabetes can creep up on you and complications may have set in before the condition is even diagnosed.  A new survey by Diabetes UK reveals that men are twice as likely not to know they have diabetes than women. A survey of nearly 7,000 adults aged 52-79 years revealed that 502 of them had diabetes.  Of the men with diabetes, 22% were unaware that they had it compared to 12% of women.

Simon O’Neill, head of Care, Information and Advocacy at Diabetes UK said ‘Diabetes is extremely serious and the longer it is left undiagnosed and untreated, the greater the risk of developing devastating complications such as blindness, stroke, kidney failure, amputation and heart disease.  Type 2 diabetes can go undetected for more than 10 years which mans that about half of people already have complications by the time they are diagnosed.’

Men need to take better care of their health and be more aware of risk factors and symptoms that might spell diabetes. High body mass index, high blood pressure, large waist and high cholesterol were found to be risk factors for type 2 diabetes in this survey. Wealth, education, social class, ethnicity, age and smoking status did not increase the risk of diabetes. Symptoms of diabetes are increased thirst, increased desire to urinate, especially at night, tiredness, blurred vision, genital itching, thrush and slow wound healing. The reason why men are less likely to be diagnosed than women might be that they go to the doctor less often and are less likely to receive screening for diabetes, which involves a blood test. The authors of the study are calling for more testing or overweight and obese people, as well as those with other risk factors for diabetes.



Pierce M et al Undiagnosed diabetes – data from the English longitudinal study of ageing. Diabetic Medicine, April 2009


Created on: 11/18/2009
Reviewed on: 11/18/2009

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Anonymous wrote 1 year 44 weeks ago

"Men need to take better care of their health and be more aware of risk factors and symptoms that might spell diabetes."

But if physically active and smart food choices (low sugar & fat) can reduce the risk factor of diabetes.

For useful information on diabetes and its treatment visit http://healthy-ojas.com/diabetes/diabetes-details.html

Anonymous wrote 1 year 47 weeks ago

This makes sense that men are twice as likely than women not to know they have diabetes. Part of this is I guess due to the way they are brought up. However, it is now time to change the thinking process that one is invincible because if the diagnosis comes too late then one is giving the complications the chance to set in.

Evelyn Guzman
http://www.free-symptoms-of-diabetes-alert.com (If you want to visit, just click but if it doesn’t work, copy and paste it onto your browser.)