In August 2008, the American Diabetes Association conducted an online survey to find out what people really fear most. The survey findings showed that, among a rare list of occurrences. The respondents feared the following:
• 16% of being in a plane crash
• 13% snake bites
• 5% being hit by lightning
• 4% shark attack
• ONLY 5% feared getting an illness/disease
Additionally, when asked specifically about diseases, 49% feared cancer and 3% had a fear of diabetes.
The survey was conducted by the American Diabetes Association to drive home the point that our fears often disconnect from the real threats in our lives. Most importantly, people do not control things such as; being struck by a lightning bolt or bitten by a shark attack, but they can play an important role in managing and controlling their diabetes. Keeping blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol in control, as well as losing a few pounds can help make a difference in reducing the risk for heart attack or stroke.
The survey results suggest people need to increase their awareness of diabetes risks. While shark attacks and plane crashes can happen, compared to diabetes, the consequences are equally severe. According to the American Diabetes Association, 491 deaths related to commercial aviation accidents happened in 2007, whereas diabetes contributed to 233,619 deaths in 2005.