Is diabetes a secret in your company? New survey reveals personalized support can help employees with diabetes go from hiding to health.

  • Two in five (40%) employees with diabetes keep their disease hidden from their bosses and co-workers
  • 81% say with a personalized, company-sponsored program, they would be less likely to hide their disease
  • 93% say company support that recognizes their individual needs would make them feel their employer understood diabetes and valued them

A company wellness program may not make for a healthier employee if that employee has diabetes.

Two in five (40%) employees with diabetes keep their disease hidden from their bosses and co-workers, according to a new survey of workers in the US with the disease.1 Half (48%) say they are concerned they will be judged differently from their peers and a third (32%) say they worry it may hinder their chances of being promoted.

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“Secrecy has many downsides, including that employers may not know how best to support employees with diabetes and control the escalating costs,” said Adam Berman, Director Franchise Marketing at Roche Diabetes Care, sponsor of the survey.

An estimated 8.3 million full-time workers in the United States have diabetes.2,3 With diabetes rates on the rise, it is among the most expensive diseases for employers.4,5

According to employees with diabetes polled, 38% say they don’t participate in company wellness programs because they find them generic and not motivational. A further 22% say wellness programs, and even some diabetes-specific programs, are not tailored to their needs.

Diabetes is personal, and the majority (81%) surveyed say their own diabetes management needs are extremely or somewhat unique. A further nine in ten (89%) believe one type of diabetes management support program does not fit all.

What should employers do to improve health outcomes for this large and growing population of companies, address related productivity and absenteeism, and boost retention?

Employees say company help that recognizes the individual nature of the disease and provides support, including personalized digital coaching and blood sugar tracking to simplify disease management at work and home, would be a significant step. 93% say that approach would make them feel their employer understood diabetes and wanted to support them and their health. A similar majority (92%) said they would be very likely to utilize this program and would be more engaged in their own diabetes management with this type of personalized help.

Further, about four in five (84%) say they would be more confident at work, less stressed at work (78%), more productive (81%) and less likely to leave the company (79%).

And what about the “secret club” of employees with diabetes in the workplace? 81% say with a personalized, company-sponsored program, they would be less likely to hide their disease.

More details about diabetes in the workplace are available in a white paper, Changing the course and costs of diabetes at work, here Employer Best Practices Whitepaper.

Survey Methodology

The Roche Diabetes Care Survey was conducted online by Opinion Research Corporation among 502 adults ages 18 and older who are employed full-time or part-time and have either diabetes or pre-diabetes, between December 6-12, 2019, using an email invitation.

About RocheDiabetes Health Connection

The RocheDiabetes Health Connection program offers a personal diabetes coach available on-demand to offer personalized support and answer questions, unlimited Accu-Chek® testing supplies delivered to the home without ever having to place an order, premium access to the mySugr app—the world’s most popular digital diabetes platform with more than 1.8 million registered users worldwide—and instant, automatic digital entry of blood glucose tests in real-time.

About Roche Diabetes Care

Roche Diabetes Care is pioneering innovative diabetes technologies and services for more than 40 years. Being a global leader in integrated diabetes management, more than 5,000 employees in over 100 markets worldwide work every day to support people with diabetes and those at risk to achieve more time in their target range and experience true relief from the daily therapy routines. Roche Diabetes Care collaborates with caregivers, healthcare providers and payers to optimally manage this complex condition and contribute to sustainable care structures. Under the brand Accu-Chek and in collaboration with partners, Roche Diabetes Care creates value by providing integrated solutions to monitor glucose levels, deliver insulin and track as well as contextualize relevant data points for a successful therapy. By establishing a leading open ecosystem, connecting devices, digital solutions, Roche Diabetes Care will enable optimal personalised diabetes management and thus improve therapy outcomes. Since 2017, mySugr with its world-leading mobile diabetes management app and services is part of Roche Diabetes Care. For more information, please visit www.accu-chek.com and www.mysugr.com.

About Roche

Roche is a global pioneer in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics focused on advancing science to improve people’s lives. The combined strengths of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics under one roof have made Roche the leader in personalised healthcare – a strategy that aims to fit the right treatment to each patient in the best way possible. Roche is the world’s largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and diseases of the central nervous system. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management. Founded in 1896, Roche continues to search for better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases and make a sustainable contribution to society. The company also aims to improve patient access to medical innovations by working with all relevant stakeholders. More than thirty medicines developed by Roche are included in the World Health Organization Model Lists of Essential Medicines, among them life-saving antibiotics, antimalarials and cancer medicines. Moreover, for the tenth consecutive year, Roche has been recognised as the most sustainable company in the Pharmaceuticals Industry by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI). The Roche Group, headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, is active in over 100 countries and in 2018 employed about 94,000 people worldwide. In 2018, Roche invested CHF 11 billion in R&D and posted sales of CHF 56.8 billion. Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information, please visit www.roche.com.

All trademarks used or mentioned in this release are protected by law.

For more information please contact:
Amy Lynn (amy.lynn@roche.com)

1The Roche Diabetes Care Survey was conducted online by Opinion Research Corporation among 502 adults ages 18 and older who are employed full-time or part-time and have either diabetes or pre-diabetes, between December 6-12, 2019, using an email invitation and an online survey.

2https://www.statista.com/statistics/192361/unadjusted-monthly-number-of-full-time-employees-in-the-us/

3https://wellbeingindex.sharecare.com/diabetes-us-economic-well-being-impact/

4Gallup-Sharecare Wellbeing Index. The Cost of Diabetes in the US: Economic and Well-Being Impact, November 2017

5 American Diabetes Association. Economic costs of diabetes in the U.S. in 2017. Diabetes Care 2018;41:917–928. http://www.diabetes.org/advocacy/news-events/cost-of-diabetes.html