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Awareness of Diabetes and Heart Disease Is High, Prevention Is Low in Japan

Sep 8, 2014

New research by Kantar Health shows that less than half of people identified as being at risk for diabetes and less than 10% at risk for cardiovascular disease are taking steps to prevent these ailments.

NEW YORK, September 8, 2014—While awareness of diabetes and heart disease is high, prevention of these conditions tends to be low in the Japanese population, according to new findings from Kantar Health’s National Health and Wellness Survey. The research will be presented today at the 6th ISPOR (International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research) Asia Pacific Meeting in Beijing.

In 2008 Japan enacted a program that requires all citizens over the age of 40 to have their waistlines measured to identify whether they are at risk of developing metabolic diseases. The Ministry of Health believes this program will rein in the prevalence of diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease given the country’s rapidly aging population and skyrocketing healthcare costs.

In the at-risk populations over 40, more than 80% of people are aware of diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Of those at risk of developing diabetes, 49% are taking steps to prevent the disease, which is much lower than the U.S., where 62% of the at-risk population is taking preventive steps. Among those at risk of developing cardiovascular disease just 8% are taking preventive steps for high blood pressure or high cholesterol, compared with 45% in the U.S.

“While half of the at-risk population for diabetes is taking preventive steps, there is still a substantial gap when compared with the U.S.,” said Andy Stankus, Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific, Kantar Health. “The disparity in prevention is even greater in heart disease.”

“Since the program was launched six years ago it seems the at-risk populations for these diseases have a high level of awareness,” said Takashi Fukuda, Ph.D., Research Managing Director at the National Institute of Public Health in Japan and a co-author of the study. “However, within the population over 40 it appears we have more work to do to increase the number of people taking steps to prevent diabetes and especially heart disease in the at-risk population.”

About the National Health and Wellness Survey (NHWS)

The study’s results were drawn from the 2012 Japan 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 pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device and diagnostic companies worldwide. 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 600+ 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. Kantar Health is part of Kantar, the data investment management division of WPP. For more information, please visit