One in five people with diabetes miss up to 15 working hours per month due to low blood sugar

By Novo Nordisk, PRNE
Sunday, June 5, 2011

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, June 6, 2011 -

Nearly one in five people with diabetes are regularly unable to attend a
full day at work due to disruption caused by episodes of dangerously low
blood sugar, known as a hypoglycaemic event. A new survey, focusing on
productivity loss following hypoglycaemic events, was published today in the
journal Value in Health. The survey was conducted with 1,404 people with type
1 and type 2 diabetes who had reported a hypoglycaemic event in the preceding
month, in the US, UK, Germany and France.

(Logo: )

    Key conclusions from the survey were:
    -- Average loss of workplace productivity, per person, per month, due to
       a night-time or nocturnal hypoglycaemic event, was 14.7 hours for
       those missing work. That equated to an estimated dollar value of
       $2,294 in lost productivity per person, per year*.
    -- Hypoglycaemic events are prone to happen during the night and one in
       five persons (22.7%) arrived late for work or missed a full day of
       work as a result of a nocturnal episode. Events occurring during work
       hours resulted in 18.3% of people either having to leave work early or
       miss a full day.

"Many people with diabetes struggle with hypoglycaemia on a regular
basis," said lead researcher and health psychologist Dr. Meryl Brod. "This
not only has an impact on their working lives, but increases the need to
self-monitor blood glucose levels. Additionally, the events occurring during
sleep are a challenge for people with diabetes."

The survey also revealed that patients conducted 5.6 extra blood glucose
tests to measure their blood sugar in the next seven days after the event and
24.9% contacted a healthcare professional (either primary care physician,
hospital, diabetes clinic, or other healthcare worker) as a result of the
event. Among patients using insulin, 25% reported decreasing their insulin
dose following the event.

Maintaining strict glycaemic control has long-term advantages for people
with diabetes in reducing complications. Symptoms of a hypoglycaemic event,
when the blood sugar becomes too low, often include pounding heart,
trembling, hunger, sweating, difficulty concentrating or confusion. People
with diabetes, treated with insulin, can experience 1-3 events per month.

The complete study can be found in the July issue of Value in Health and
also online at: The study was sponsored
by Novo Nordisk.

Further information on diabetes:

    -- In one generation, the prevalence of diabetes has increased six-fold
       worldwide. Estimates show that there were some 285 million people with
       diabetes in 2010, and it is expected to affect 438 million by 2030.
    -- More than 50% of people with diabetes are unaware of their condition.
    -- Diabetes caused close to 4 million deaths globally, close to 7% of
       total world mortality in 2010, which is a 5.5% increase on figures for
       2007. Diabetes is the fourth leading cause of death by disease
    -- In 2010, global spending on diabetes totalled at least USD 376 billion
       and this is predicted to exceed USD 490 billion by 2030.

Headquartered in Denmark, Novo Nordisk is a global healthcare company
with 87 years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care. The company also
has leading positions within haemophilia care, growth hormone therapy and
hormone replacement therapy. For more information, visit

[*This is an aggregate number and does not account for differences in
reimbursement that may exist in each country.]

(c) 2011 Novo Nordisk 144108 June 2011

Media: Outside North America: Mette Kruse Danielsen, +45-4442-3883, mkd at, In North America: Ambre Morley, +1-609-987-5898, abmo at, Investors: Outside North America: Klaus Bulow Davidsen, +45-4442-3176, klda at

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