Women more receptive to diabetes education, Rite Aid survey finds

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Women, more often than men, reported that diabetes had a greater negative impact on their emotional outlook as well as their compliance with diet and exercise recommendations, according to a study released Thursday by Rite Aid and WebMD. The survey also found that women were more open than men to receiving tools to help them manage their diabetes.

"The survey results make sense when you consider that women play multiple roles — employee, homemaker and caretaker, often for both children and parents," stated Carolyn Daitch, director of the Center for the Treatment of Anxiety Disorders. "Having ready access to a resource, such as a pharmacist who can provide guidance and tools for self-care and practical, easy-to-implement recommendations for a healthy lifestyle, can be very valuable in helping to manage diabetes."

"It's no secret that living with diabetes isn't always easy and that, at times, it can be overwhelming," stated Robert Thompson, EVP pharmacy for Rite Aid. "Our Wellness+ for diabetes program and WebMD's Diabetes head2toe are just the latest resources we offer to help [our customers] live well with diabetes. We're glad to see that the survey findings further validate our approach."

Half of the women who reported being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes (50%) said they feel overwhelmed when it comes to living with diabetes, while less than one-third of men (31%) reported similar feelings. And just more than half of women (53%) admitted to feeling in control of their diabetes, compared with more than two-thirds (68%) of men.

Women with diabetes also reported they were less like to maintain healthy lifestyle behaviors. Just more than one-third of women (36%) said they exercise 30 minutes or more daily, while nearly half (47%) of men reported they do. Women also are less likely to say they eat well — with just 45% avoiding sweet and salty snacks, compared with 56% of men.

The survey also revealed that women living with diabetes, particularly those ages 45 to 64 years, are enthusiastic about receiving tools that can help them better manage diabetes. The tools to which they reported greatest receptivity are diabetic-friendly recipes and tips for eating right; email newsletters; savings on diabetes-related products; and videos and articles about diet, exercise and symptoms.

Launched in September, Wellness+ for diabetes features exclusive 24/7 online access to a special Rite Aid-sponsored section of WebMD's "Diabetes head2toe" online lifestyle management tools. This includes a Personal Diabetes Work Plan, customized for each individual member with a daily glucose tracker, a weekly workout log, recipes and meal planning tips, and monthly lifestyle summary reports. WebMD's Diabetes head2toe also provides comprehensive health-and-wellness information about living with diabetes, as well as stories of people who live healthy, balanced lives with diabetes.

The research was conducted from Sept. 2 through Sept. 15 and included a total of 831 completed responses (458 females and 373 males).

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