The questions were focused on four broad lines of inquiry; basic knowledge about the facts of the disease itself, how the individual obtained their information, the level of physical activity in which the respondent was engaged, and their primary dietary behavior. Then, 100 diabetics in a clinical or hospital environment were asked the same questions so that their answers could be compiled, compared, and analyzed.
Diabetes Knowledge Assessment. One of the first things I sought to do was to establish the level of awareness regarding diabetes among non-diabetics, and compare that with those who have the disease. When I interviewed the non-diabetics, only 28% were able to provide me with a description of the disease that was reasonably accurate. When I asked about some of the known risk factors related to the disease, the majority of non-diabetic respondents were only able to give me two or less. This demonstrates a lack of general awareness among individuals in the population who do not have diabetes, and can be contrasted with those who do.
In the people with diabetes who I interviewed, over 73% were able to accurately describe the parameters of their illness and the majority knew between two and five risk factors associated with the disease. This is readily explainable by the simple fact that anyone who suffers from a chronic disease is going to be expected to be more informed regarding its details than those who have no awareness of it at all.
Diabetes Information Channels. Once I determined the prevalence of knowledge regarding the illness, the next logical step was to establish the preferred means of gaining that awareness. Among both the non-diabetic participants and those with the illness, the hospital or other official medical facility was the primary source for information, with 65% of non-diabetics and 73% of diabetics choosing that as their primary source. The two groups diverged significantly, however, in the primacy of their second most prevalent source for information. Among the non-diabetics, friends and family were the primary secondary choice (15%), while those with the disease listed that category as 0%. For them, magazines were the second most used source (13%) and this can most likely be associated with a focused interest. For non-diabetics, they might have relatives with the disease and cite that as a good information source. For diabetics, however, they are probably much more well-versed in the details of the malady than their family, and so they go to print media when they want to learn more about the disease. Somewhat surprisingly, the internet was the lease-used source of information for both groups. This may be accounted for by the fact that the Chinese do not yet have prolific use of the internet among the general population.
Physical Activity. In terms of the physical activity and recreational habits of the two groups, I felt it was important to determine if there was an increased level in the diabetics, who certainly know that exercise can mitigate the symptoms of Type 2 diabetes. What I found was that among the Chinese, there is not a large distinction. For both groups, the number of responders who exercised up to three hours per week was very similar (56% for non-diabetics vs. 64%