The national development programme for the prevention and care of diabetes was carried out in Finland during 2000-2010. One of the programme goals was to raise awareness of diabetes and its risk factors in the whole population through various activities, e.g. media campaigns and health fares. In addition, a targeted implementation project on the prevention of type 2 diabetes, FIN-D2D, was carried out in selected districts during 2003-2008. The aim of this analysis was to examine the changes in overall awareness of the programme and its association with self-reported lifestyle changes within the adult population during the FIN-D2D project period in the FIN-D2D area compared with the area not participating in the FIN-D2D (the control area).
Health behaviour and health among the Finnish Adult Population -postal survey.
The structured questionnaire mailed to a random population sample included questions on participants' sociodemographic background, medical history, health habits, and recent lifestyle changes. Awareness of the national diabetes programme was also enquired. Data (n = 10 831) from the 2004-2008 postal surveys were used for this investigation.
In the FIN-D2D area, 25% (347/1384) of men and 48% (797/1674) of women reported being aware of the programme. In the control area, the proportions were 20% (702/3551) and 36% (1514/4222), respectively. The overall awareness increased among both genders and in all areas during the project period, but the level of awareness was consistently higher in the FIN-D2D area. Female gender and higher age were associated with increasing awareness of the programme in both areas. Self-reported lifestyle changes were more common among women, but associated with the level of awareness of the programme more often among men than women.
The awareness of diabetes and its risk factors increased among men and women in both implementation and control areas during the FIN-D2D project period. The activities of the implementation project may at least partly explain the differences in lifestyle changes between areas, especially among men. The results suggest that health promotion campaigns increase the population awareness about the prevention of chronic diseases and as a result, especially men may be prompted to make beneficial lifestyle changes.