Millions of people with Type 2 diabetes in both the developed and developing countries are undiagnosed and untreated, according to a new report.
The World Health Organization published the study on diabetes in seven countries Tuesday in its Bulletin.
"Too many people are not being properly diagnosed with diabetes and related cardiovascular risk factors. Those who are diagnosed aren't being effectively treated," Dr. Stephen Lim of The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle said in a statement.
"This is a huge missed opportunity to lower the burden of disease in both rich and poor countries," added Lim, one of the researchers.
Lim and his co-authors used health surveys from Columbia, England, Iran, Mexico, Scotland, Thailand and the U.S. to look at diagnosis, treatment and control of hyperglycemia, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels among people with diabetes.
The extent of lack of diagnosis and treatment ranged from 24 per cent of women in Scotland and the U.S. to 62 per cent of men in Thailand, the researchers found.
"While no large socioeconomic inequalities were noted in the management of individuals with diabetes, financial access to care was a strong predictor of diagnosis and management," the study's authors concluded.
In the U.S., adults with diabetes with insurance were twice as likely to be diagnosed and treated as those with no insurance.
The Canadian Diabetes Association's new "Get Checked Now" program aims to get more people checked for Type 2 diabetes, particularly people age 40 and older.
The program includes personalized diabetes risk assessment at pharmacies located at participating Loblaw retail stores across Canada.
Starting in spring and running until year's end, the campaign informs people about the consequences of being passive about their potential risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.