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Awareness of HbA1c Levels among Diabetes Patients Doubles Since 2006

Jun 4, 2014

NEW YORK, June 4, 2014—Awareness of HbA1c levels among patients with type 2 diabetes has nearly doubled in the past eight years, to 56 percent in 2013 from 27 percent in 2006, according to new findings from Kantar Health’s National Health and Wellness Survey (NHWS). The research will be presented today at the 19th Annual ISPOR (International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research) Meeting in Montreal.  

Patients who were aware of their HbA1c were more likely to be older (60.5 vs. 57.2 years), non-Hispanic white (71.4 percent vs. 61.1 percent), being treated with oral insulin or non-insulin injectable (87.8 percent vs. 76.1 percent), and more likely to have had diabetic complications compared with those who were unaware.

From an economic perspective, lack of awareness was associated with higher indirect costs, including work and activity impairment. Lack of awareness also was associated with more hospitalizations in the past six months though fewer physician visits, which may be related to the lack of awareness. 

“For patients with type 2 diabetes, maintaining glycemic control can aid in the prevention of future microvascular and macrovascular complications. Proper awareness of HbA1C levels and targets is important to improve health outcomes,” said Kathy Annunziata, vice president, Research Services, Kantar Health. “Our research found that patients who are unaware of their HbA1c levels are less likely to be treated and also had fewer physician visits than patients who are aware, yet more hospitalizations, suggesting their disease is not being properly managed. Improved patient awareness of HbA1c levels may have societal benefits in terms of reduced costs as well as improved health outcomes for patients.”

Visit Kantar Health’s website to download the full poster, “Patient Awareness of HbA1c in Type 2 Diabetes: Trends and Implications for Health Outcomes.”

About the National Health and Wellness Survey (NHWS)

The study’s results were drawn from the 2006-2013 U.S. NHWS, a nationally representative, self-administered survey conducted annually. Topics covered include the health status, attitudes, behaviors and outcomes among adults 18 or older.

Kantar Health conducts the NHWS in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Latin America. The survey is the largest self-reported dataset in the healthcare industry.

About Kantar Health

Kantar Health is a leading global healthcare consulting firm and trusted advisor to many of the world’s leading pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device and diagnostic companies. It combines evidence-based research capabilities with deep scientific, therapeutic and clinical knowledge, commercial development know-how, and brand and marketing expertise to help clients evaluate opportunities, launch products and maintain brand and market leadership.

Kantar Health deeply understands the influence of patients, payers and physicians, especially as they relate to the performance and payment of medicines and the delivery of healthcare services. Its 700+ healthcare industry specialists work across the product lifecycle, from preclinical development to launch, acting as catalysts to successful decision-making in life sciences and helping clients prioritize their product development and portfolio activities, differentiate their brands and drive product success post-launch. For more information, please visit