In the UK, Diabetes Often Coupled With Other Health Problems
Well-Being

In the UK, Diabetes Often Coupled With Other Health Problems

by Mitchell Ogisi and Cynthia English

Those reporting diabetes diagnosis are less likely to report frequent exercise

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Britons who report having ever been diagnosed with diabetes are more likely than those who do not have diabetes to report having been diagnosed with other chronic health conditions, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma, and heart attack. These differences in disease burden still exist after taking into account income, gender, education, and age. More than half of Britons diagnosed with diabetes also report having been diagnosed with high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Diabetes and chronic conditions in the UK

These findings are based on 11,811 surveys conducted as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, which has been tracking wellbeing daily in the U.K. since January 2011. The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index finds that 7.4% of British adults report being diagnosed with diabetes. According to the recent National Diabetes Audit in the U.K., almost 3 million Britons, including children and adults, have been diagnosed with diabetes. Additionally, the report found that up to 24,000 preventable deaths a year in the U.K. can be attributed to diabetes-related complications.

Those With Diabetes Diagnosis Less Likely to Exercise Frequently

Britons who report having ever been diagnosed with diabetes are less likely than those who do not have diabetes to say they exercise for at least 30 minutes three or more days per week. Less than half of Britons who report having been diagnosed with diabetes (42%) say they exercise three or more times a week for 30 minutes, compared with 53% of those without diabetes who say the same. These differences in exercise frequency still exist after taking into account income, gender, education, and age.

Diabetes and exercise in the UK

Implications

Diabetes is a major health-related challenge in the U.K. Although diabetes is not a curable condition, Type 2 diabetes is avoidable if managed properly. Major causes of diabetes-related deaths are failure to receive the proper healthcare and self-mismanagement of the condition. The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index data reveal many Britons who have diabetes report having been diagnosed with other health problems and are not exercising enough.

Nearly one in four Britons are obese, and previous Gallup research in the United States finds a link between obesity and having been diagnosed with chronic conditions, which means that for Britons who have diabetes, their weight may play a role in why they also have other health problems. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence recommends health checks for diabetes, including blood sugar control, cholesterol, blood pressure, body mass index, and eye and foot examinations. Accordingly, education about self-management and preventative healthcare, such as health checks, eating healthy foods, and exercising, may help prevent Britons from developing diabetes and other chronic conditions.

About the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index tracks wellbeing in the U.S., U.K., and Germany and provides best-in-class solutions for a healthier world. To learn more, please visit well-beingindex.com.

Survey Methods

Results are based on telephone interviews conducted as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index survey Jan. 2-Nov. 30, 2011, with a random sample of 11,811 adults, aged 18 and older, living in in the United Kingdom, selected using random-digit-dial sampling.

For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±1.1 percentage points.

Interviews are conducted with respondents on landline telephones and cellular phones. Each daily sample includes a minimum quota of 5 cell phone respondents and 29 landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas among landline respondents for gender within the regions. Landline respondents are chosen at random within each household on the basis of which member had the most recent birthday.

Samples are weighted by gender, age, education, region, adults in the household, and cell phone status. Demographic weighting targets are based on the most recently published population data from the Census Bureau for Northern Ireland, Scotland, England, and Wales. All reported margins of sampling error include the computed design effects for weighting and sample design.

In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

For more details on Gallup's polling methodology, visit http://www.gallup.com/.



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