November is Diabetes Awareness Month

Diabetes Overview, Diagnosis, Monitoring, and Testing Diabetes awareness for managing a healthier lifestyle

Around the world, approximately 537 million adults (20–79 years) are living with diabetes. By 2045, this number is projected to rise to over 780 million. More than 1.2 million children and adolescents (0–19 years) are living with type 1 diabetes.1

Almost 1 in 2 adults living with diabetes are undiagnosed.1 Many of those who are undiagnosed may have or be at risk of prediabetes, and recent research has shown that some long-term damage to the body, especially the heart and circulatory system, may already occur in people with prediabetes.2

As the prevalence of diabetes continues to rise, so must the effort to raise awareness. Early detection and monitoring can help minimize complications caused by chronically elevated glucose levels.


A diabetes diagnosis is made primarily by the detection of hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar. There are many tools, however, in the array of diabetes-related diagnostic tests. Diabetes-related tests are performed for various reasons on many different types of patients:

  • Newly diagnosed diabetes patients: To help determine if they have type 1 or type 2 diabetes when the clinical indications are inconclusive.
  • Type 2 diabetes patients: To monitor and adjust therapies.
  • All diabetes patients: To test for diabetic nephropathy by measuring their urinary albumin levels.
  • Postmenopausal women: Studies indicate that this group may have an increased risk for cardiac mortality if they have an elevated urinary albumin level.
  • Women diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome: This syndrome affects 6–10% of all women, with 50% having insulin resistance. These women are at high-risk for developing type 2 diabetes. An abnormally elevated insulin level with hyperglycemia could indicate insulin resistance.

Monitoring the Condition

Those diagnosed with diabetes are encouraged to monitor their condition on a regular basis. By measuring hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), doctors can gauge the average blood sugar levels over the last 2–3 months and thereby provide a more tailored treatment plan. HbA1c measurement can also show whether treatment plans and lifestyle choices have been effective.

Type 1 Diabetes

  • Formerly called “insulin-dependent” or “juvenile-onset” diabetes.
  • An autoimmune disease that causes destruction of pancreatic beta cells, which are responsible for synthesizing and secreting insulin.
  • Accounts for 10 % of all diabetes patients.1

Type 2 Diabetes

  • Formerly called “non-insulin-dependent” or “adult-onset” diabetes.
  • Caused by insulin resistance or inadequate insulin secretion.
  • Accounts for 90-95% of all diabetes cases.2


  • Patients have impaired glucose tolerance and impaired fasting glucose.
  • Individuals have blood glucose levels higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes.
  • People with pre-diabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.3

Siemens Healthineers offers a wide range of assays that aid in the differentiation of type 1 from type 2 diabetes, monitor glycemic control, monitor HbA1c levels to follow the progression of the disease, and check for diabetes-related conditions.

Siemens Healthineers also offers comprehensive point-of-care(POC) diabetes testing solutions.

Raising Awareness

Each November, Siemens Healthineers works to raise awareness about diabetes—a serious chronic condition, but manageable when detected early enough to begin a physician-monitored treatment plan. We are passionate about helping patients lead healthy lives and partnering with nurses and clinicians to aid them in managing their patients’ conditions.

A doctor discussing diabetes testing with her patients

Webinar: Diabetes—beyond HbA1c

Join Dr. Youssef Maakaroun, MD, as he discusses the various conditions associated with diabetes and how innovative assays can help optimize management of diabetes patients and route them for proper care.

A nurse wearing pink scrubs welcomes an older male patient in the waiting room holding his chart

MLO article: Importance of HbA1c testing for diabetes diagnosis and management post COVID-19 infection

MLO: Early identification and treatment of the disease can improve health outcomes by avoiding or delaying long-term diabetic complications.

Doctor consults with a diabetes patient about Hemoglobin A1c Measurement and Standardization

Webinar: HbA1c measurement and standardization

The HbA1c test is used routinely to monitor glycemic control in diabetic individuals and diagnose diabetes. Dr. Randie Little, an expert in HbA1c laboratory testing discusses the importance of HbA1c testing in diagnosing diabetes, its measurement, and the standardization process.

Randie R. Little, PhD 
National Glycohemoglobin Standardization Program (NGSP)
Network Coordinator Departments of Pathology and Child Health
University of Missouri School of Medicine

Blood collection

Webinar: Demystifying HbA1c POC testing and the impacts of COVID-19 on patients with diabetes

Dr. Erna Lenters-Westra, Emma English, and Professor Garry John share their insights on the subject of HbA1c POC testing.

Infographic: Diabetes and its related conditions

Infographic: Diabetes and its related conditions

Understand the role of early detection and monitoring in achieving better patient outcomes.

Infographic: Global impact of COVID-19 and lockdowns on POC HbA1c testing

Infographic: Global impact of COVID-19 and lockdowns on POC HbA1c testing

To what extent is there a change in glycemic control during the COVID-19 outbreak and lockdowns, and does COVID-19 affect population-level glycemic control?

Download the infographic to learn more about how the pandemic has affected POC HbA1c testing and help raise awareness.

Video: NAFLD/NASH prevalence in type 2 diabetes patients and use of noninvasive tests

Watch this 5-minute video in which Dr. Scott D. Isaacs, an endocrinologist and obesity medicine specialist, discusses the risk and prevalence of NAFLD and NASH in patients with type 2 diabetes and his experience and recommendations in managing these patients, including the use of noninvasive tests.

Video: Diabetes overview and testing

Watch this video explaining diabetes and the HbA1c assays.

Interactive e-book: Make a difference in diabetes awareness

E-book: Make a difference in diabetes awareness

Learn about innovative diagnostic testing and diabetes management from everyday heroes around the world. With additional clinical content, you can learn about HbA1c testing across the diagnostics spectrum. Download your free interactive e-book, “Make a Difference in Diabetes Awareness,” today!