Diabetes and Ramadan

Sanofi demonstrates continuing commitment to support people living with diabetes fasting during Ramadan

  • Advancing generation of clinical evidence in support of International Diabetes Federation and Diabetes and Ramadan guidelines
  • Supporting the diabetes community with educational initiatives and programs

As Ramadan approaches and focuses minds on management of diabetes during this period, Sanofi is reinforcing its commitment to support the individual needs of those participating. This March will see publication of new clinical evidence that will inform International Diabetes Federation and Diabetes and Ramadan (IDF-DAR) guidelines, as well as new educational initiatives that will enable individualized day-to-day diabetes management during Ramadan.

“There are a range of risk factors associated with fasting including hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, diabetic ketoacidosis and dehydration and thrombosis.” commented Sandra Silvestri, MD PhD Global Head of Medical, Primary Care and China and EM GBUs at Sanofi. “At Sanofi, we are committed to enabling people to fast safely and for us, that goes beyond just medicines. We believe that by generating clinical evidence in support of IDF-DAR and through educational initiatives we can support people to live the life they want, undeterred by diabetes.”

There are over 116 million people who may fast during Ramadan according to IDF-DAR1. Of this population, up to 79% fast for at least 15 days and nearly 30% of people with diabetes who fast during Ramadan also fast at other times of the year. The Epidemiology of Diabetes and Ramadan (EPIDIAR) study2 reports a 4.7-fold and 7.5-fold increase in incidence of severe hypoglycemic complications in patients with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes respectively compared with non-Ramadan periods.

To date, Sanofi has launched a series of studies on diabetes management during Ramadan including DAR-MENA3, the data of which will be included in IDF-DAR guidelines. As the first international prospective study in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes before and during Ramadan, it found that 76.9% of people cited either fear or previous experience of diabetic complications as reason not to fast.

“DAR-MENA showed how known risk factors can impact lives. However, it also showed that when a patient is well prepared with appropriate education on treatment adjustment, this may help maintain glycemic control and ensure a safe fasting experience,” added Sandra Silvestri.

Sanofi support for those fasting during Ramadan extends to a series of international educational projects for healthcare professionals and patients including ‘Train The Trainer’ programs.

1. Hassanein M, Al-Arouj M, Hamdy O, Bebakar WMW, Jabbar A, Al-Madani A, et al. Diabetes and Ramadan: Practical guidelines. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2017;126:303-16.
2. Salti I, Benard E, Detournay B, et al. A population-based study of diabetes and its characteristics during the fasting month of Ramadan in 13 countries: results of the epidemiology of diabetes and Ramadan 1422/2001 (EPIDIAR) study. Diabetes Care 2004;27:2306-11.
3. Hassanein M et al, Endocrine Reviews 2018; 39 (2 Suppl):174-LB.