December 2, 2011
Novartis draws attention to aging patients with type 2 diabetes and their growing impact on healthcare resources for World Diabetes Day
- Nearly half of all patients with type 2 diabetes are over the age of 651
- World’s elderly population expected to triple by mid-century to 1.53 billion2, placing an ever-increasing strain on healthcare resources3,4
- Novartis is committed to raising awareness on the need for improved and comprehensive management of these vulnerable elderly people with type 2 diabetes.
Manila, November 14, 2011 – Novartis is focusing on the need for comprehensive management of elderly patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in support of World Diabetes Day (WDD). To demonstrate its commitment to this year’s WDD campaign, “Act on Diabetes. Now”, Novartis Philippines will provide blood sugar screening for its employees as well as a lecture on November 14 by the Father of Philippine Endocrinology, Dr. Augusto Litonjua. In partnership with leading retail pharmacy chain Watsons, Novartis Philippines will also hold a 3-day free blood sugar screening program and medical consultation for the general public on November 12 to 14.
Diabetes affects 366 million people worldwide4 and prevalence increases with age5, with nearly half of all patients with T2DM over the age of 651. With people living longer and more becoming obese, the ‘diabetes epidemic’ and associated healthcare burden is expected to worsen3,5. Evidence suggests that older people with diabetes use primary and secondary care services two to three more times than those without diabetes6,7.
"Diabetes is one of the most significant public health problems facing us today. Finding a solution will only become more critical as growing numbers of older people with diabetes leave the workforce just as their risk of co-morbidities and complications increase significantly,” said Thomas Weigold, Novartis Philippines Country President. "This is why Novartis is committed to raising awareness on the need for improved and comprehensive management of these vulnerable elderly people with type 2 diabetes.”
Management of T2DM in older patients is particularly challenging due to a high prevalence of risk factors, such as cognitive disorders and physical disability8, and co-morbidities, including hypertension9 and impaired renal function10,11. Elderly patients are also more prone to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels), which carries a worse prognosis and higher mortality in this group7. Without proper management, long-term complications can result12. Microvascular complications include diabetic retinopathy (eye disease) and nephropathy (kidney disease), and macrovascular complications include coronary heart disease and stroke8.
Improved management of older patients with T2DM is possible through individualized care with an awareness of their specific needs. Intensive therapy, focused on controlling blood glucose, blood pressure and lipid levels, is also cost effective; while initial costs may be high, long-term costs decrease as a result of delayed or prevented complications13.
"We laud Novartis for supporting the observance of World Diabetes Day and keeping diabetes firmly in the public spotlight,” said Dr. Augusto Litonjua, President of Diabetes Center Philippines. "With the number of people with diabetes expected to grow to more than half a billion in a generation14, the time for talking is over – now is the time to act.”
WDD was conceived by the International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization in 1991 in response to the increasing diabetes health threat. It is celebrated every year on November 14 to coincide with the birthday of Frederick Banting, who, along with Charles Best, is credited with the discovery of insulin. It became an official United Nations World Day in 2007. Visit http://www.worlddiabetesday.org for more information about the 2011 WDD campaign.
Novartis provides healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Focused solely on healthcare, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, eye care, cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals, consumer health products, preventive vaccines and diagnostic tools. Novartis is the only company with leading positions in these areas. In 2010, the Group’s continuing operations achieved net sales of USD 50.6 billion, while approximately USD 9.1 billion (USD 8.1 billion excluding impairment and amortization charges) was invested in R&D throughout the Group. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis Group companies employ approximately 121,000 full-time-equivalent associates and operate in more than 140 countries around the world. For more information, please visit http://www.novartis.com.
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