Diabetes patients and GPs don’t agree on most worrisome complications of condition

National survey reveals disconnect between what Type 2 diabetes patients believe and what doctors are telling them.

Warnings about the severity of some complications associated with Type 2 diabetes may not be getting through to Canada’s diabetes patients, according to findings from a national survey conducted by Vision Critical Health.

While heart disease and declining kidney function top the list of Type 2 diabetes complications that general practitioners say they are most concerned about (96 per cent and 84 per cent respectively), blindness and amputation are patients’ top worries (60 per cent and 50 per cent respectively). When asked which body part will be most impacted by Type 2 diabetes, patients selected feet and eyes ahead of major organs like the heart and kidneys.

“These statistics are quite concerning,” says says Dr. Richard Tytus, family physician and associate clinical professor at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, who contributed to the design of the survey. “Patients are underestimating the life-threatening impact of heart or kidney complications and focusing more on less fatal complications.  The reality is that you won’t need to worry about being blind if your heart stops beating or your kidneys shut down.”

Read more about this survey here.