Diabetics group claim employer discrimination

Head of the Israel Diabetes Association: Bosses misunderstand the condition and tend to bar their advancement and try to send them off to an early pension.

flu shot 88 (photo credit: )
flu shot 88
(photo credit: )
People with Type 2 diabetes are increasingly reluctant to let their employers know about their condition - even if their sugar levels are under control and they are perfectly well - because bosses misunderstand the condition and tend to bar their advancement and try to send them off to an early pension, Prof. Julio Wainstein, head of the Israel Diabetes Association, said on Wednesday. There was still much ignorance about adult-onset diabetes - how to prevent it, the signs and how to cope with it - said Wainstein, who is a diabetologist at the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon. He called on the media to write more about the disease, which has been declared by the UN and the World Health Organization to be an epidemic that could affect more than 300 million people by 2030. More than 90 percent of all diabetes cases are type 2. Type 1 is an autoimmune disease in young people that destroys their pancreatic beta cells; they require insulin injections to live and function. Wainstein was speaking at the Novo Nordisk-Israel Media Prize 2008 ceremony in Tel Aviv for which journalists and TV personalities prepared reports about diabetes. The two winners - Nava Katzin of the Yated Ne'eman haredi daily and Hani Nahmias, who hosts a children's show on Educational TV - will go to Rome to compete against other national winners. Novo Nordisk, the Denmark-based company that was the first to produce insulin for juvenile-onset (Type 1) diabetes and is the world's leading developer of insulin and other diabetes medication, and sponsor of prevention and research programs, has been sponsoring the competition for half-a-dozen years, with the branch in each country choosing winners to compete in the international contest. Wainstein said employees were reluctant to have their blood tested for sugar levels at workplaces, as if they are found to have diabetes, they don't want their employers to know. Overweight, genetics, poor diet and lack of exercise are the triggers of type 2 diabetes, which is usually preceded by a metabolic syndrome that combines high cholesterol, overweight, hypertension and high blood sugar levels.