World Diabetes Day: The General Public Can Help to Improve Diabetes Prevention

Worldwide, there are about 415 million people with diabetes. In Germany alone, more than 6.7 million people have the disease, and up to 500,000 people are newly diagnosed each year. In order to draw attention to the increasing prevalence of this metabolic disease, the World Health Organization has proclaimed November 14th as World Diabetes Day. The German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD) will be presenting lectures and an information stand on the latest research findings and on how to prevent the disease. A new research project is being launched to further improve diabetes prevention.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes - nine out of ten people with diabetes suffer from this form. Since the metabolic disease usually begins without symptoms and develops slowly, type 2 diabetes is often not diagnosed until long after its onset. Experts estimate that in Germany alone, about two million people have the disease without knowing it.

Long-term consequences of diabetes
However, a persistently high blood sugar level can have long-term consequences: diabetes increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, damage to the kidneys and eyes and dangerous circulatory disorders in the feet and legs. Anyone whose diabetes or diabetes risk is diagnosed in good time and takes appropriate measures can, however, effectively prevent the disease and its consequences. Researchers from the DZD and the German Institute of Human Nutrition (DIfE) have developed the DIfE - German Diabetes Risk Test® (DRT). With the DRT, every adult can quickly and easily determine his or her personal risk of developing type 2 diabetes within the next five years.

Learning from the general public to improve the diabetes risk test
In order to improve the DRT even further, DIfE scientists are launching the Citizen Science project DIRIKO in time for World Diabetes Day 2017 (November 14th). Background: Scientific research has shown that the way in which health risks are communicated influences how people assess their personal disease risk. But what kind of risk communication is effective? What is the best way to reach those affected? This is what the researchers want to find out with the new project. "We want to learn from the population. If we know people's needs better and take them into account in our diabetes risk test, we will be able to further improve diabetes prevention in our society," said Catarina Schiborn, who is responsible for coordinating the Citizen Science project.
A total of 12,000 non-diabetic adults are to be actively involved in the research project. Starting on  November 14, 2017, interested people can take part in the online survey from home using the link. The time required to take the test is about 15 minutes. All survey participants remain anonymous.

The DZD stand at the central event on World Diabetes Day
Interested people can also participate in the online survey at the central event for World Diabetes Day on November 19, 2017 in KOSMOS in Berlin at the DZD stand. There, visitors can interactively inform themselves about the disease and the current results of diabetes research. Visitors can also test their knowledge in a quiz and win a comprehensive information package.

Diabetes prevention

But how can diabetes be prevented? What influence do diet and exercise have on the disease? Answers to these questions and current information on the subject of diabetes will be provided by Dr. Astrid Glaser, managing director of the DZD, in her lecture "Diabetes Prevention" on  November 14th in Garching, Munich. At the same time, interested people can test their diabetes risk in pharmacies in Garching during the campaign week.

Event dates:
Lecture: Diabetes Prevention
November 14th, 6:30 pm, ISAR Apotheke Garching
Schleißheimer Str. 30a
85748 Garching near Munich

Central event of World Diabetes Day “Diabetes – Get Active to Prevent Diabetes!”
November 19th, 10:00 am – 3:30 pm
KOSMOS, Karl-Marx-Allee 131a, 10243 Berlin

1) Central Institute for Statutory Health Insurance in the Federal Republic of Germany, February 23, 2017.