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Diabetes deaths: Improving UK care could save 24,000 lives EVERY YEAR

December 15, 2011

  • Women with diabetes are nine times more likely to die young than those without the condition
  • Nearly 300,000 people in the UK have Type 1 diabetes, while more than 3million are though to have Type 2

Daily Mail Reporter

Last updated at 2:15 PM on 14th December 2011

A woman with Type 1 diabetes has an insulin jab: An estimated 70,000 to 75,000 people with diabetes die in England every year and most are related to the condition

A woman with Type 1 diabetes has an insulin jab: An estimated 70,000 to 75,000 people with diabetes die in England every year and most are related to the condition

Up to 24,000 people with diabetes are dying unnecessarily every year, according to a new report.

Most deaths could be avoided if they received better NHS care and if their condition was better managed, it said.

The report into death rates, from the National Diabetes Audit for England, found that women with diabetes are nine times more likely to die young than those without the condition.

Among women aged 15 to 34 with diabetes, death rates are up to nine times higher than the average for this age group.

And the report also found that two young people of both sexes aged 15 to 34 may be suffering an avoidable death every week.

An estimated 70,000 to 75,000 people with diabetes die in England every year – accounting for about 15 per cent of all deaths.

Most deaths are related to the actual condition – diabetes can cause serious heart and kidney problems, as well as amputation of limbs and loss of eyesight.

Today’s report said people are dying too early due to poor management of their condition.

This includes not receiving basic diabetic health checks on the NHS, having unhealthy lifestyles and not taking medication properly or understanding how to take it.

It argues that educating people in managing their condition reduces the risk that they will suffer dangerously high or low blood sugar, which increases the risk of complications but can also lead directly to death.
Today’s audit included data for 2.5 million people.

It found that three-quarters of unnecessary deaths among diabetics are among the over-65s.

But the gap in death rates between people with diabetes and those without become more extreme in younger age groups.

About one in 3,300 of all women will die between the ages of 15 and 34, but this risk increases nine-fold among women with Type 1 diabetes to one in 360.

Type 1 diabetes usually develops in childhood and patients need to take insulin injections.

Among women with Type 2 diabetes – linked to unhealthy lifestyles and obesity – the risk increases six-fold to one in 520.

Men aged 15 to 34 in the general population have a risk of dying of one in 1,530, but this risk increases four-fold for those with Type 1 diabetes to one in 360, and by just under four-fold among those with Type 2 to one in 430.

Earlier this year the National Diabetes Audit found almost 450,000 children and younger adults (aged up to 54) with diabetes have high-risk blood sugar levels that could lead to severe complications.

The audit is managed by the NHS Information Centre and commissioned by the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership (HQIP).

Today’s report also found a strong link between deprivation and increased mortality rates.

Among under-65s with diabetes, those from deprived backgrounds are twice as likely to die as those from more affluent areas.

Audit lead clinician Dr Bob Young, consultant diabetologist and clinical lead for the National Diabetes Information Service, said: ‘For the first time we have a reliable measure of the huge impact of diabetes on early death.

‘Many of these early deaths could be prevented. The rate of new diabetes is increasing every year.

‘So, if there are no changes, the impact of diabetes on national mortality will increase.

‘Doctors, nurses and the NHS working in partnership with people who have diabetes should be able to improve these grim statistics.’

Diabetes UK has compiled a list of 15 essential health checks and services and there are nine checks recommended on the NHS by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice).

These nine checks include blood sugar control, cholesterol, blood pressure, body mass index (BMI) and eye and foot examinations to check for diabetic complications.

The National Diabetes Audit has found that only around half of people (53%) with Type 2 diabetes and less than a third (32%) with Type 1 diabetes receive all nine checks.

Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: ‘These figures are incredibly alarming as there is no reason why people with diabetes cannot live long and healthy lives if they receive the right care and support to help them manage their condition.

‘Self-management is very important, but it is also vital that people with diabetes receive the care they need to help them manage their condition in the first place.

‘We know that half of people with Type 2 and more than two thirds of people with Type 1 diabetes are not receiving the care they need to stay healthy, so it is imperative we take action now to stop even more lives being needlessly cut short.’

Some 290,000 people in the UK have Type 1 diabetes and another 2.6 million are diagnosed with Type 2.

It is also estimated there are 850,000 other people with undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes.

Care services minister Paul Burstow said: ‘We set up this audit to expose poor diabetes care.

‘The audit has revealed shocking variation in care with devastating consequences for the lives of those with diabetes.

‘This snapshot of NHS diabetes care reveals an unacceptable death toll, a death toll that can be cut by delivering the right care at the right time.

‘Our plans to roll out telehealth to improve the lives of three million people will play an important part in helping those with diabetes manage their condition better.

‘Armed with the results of this audit, I expect the NHS to learn from the best.

‘It’s not rocket science – integrated health care can help people manage their diabetes, stay well and out of hospital.’

Here’s what other readers have said. Why not add your thoughts,
or debate this issue live on our message boards.

The comments below have not been moderated.

I found this one of the better articles I have read today. Many churned out the inadequate term ‘diabetes’. My daughter has Type 1 diabetes and was diagnosed 3 years ago. It is a relentless condition that has to be managed 24/7. Words cannot descirbe how frustrating it is when despite her best efforts blood sugar control is poor – too high or low. One issue that I have not heard mentioned today is how hard it is to achieve good blood glucose levels even when you have those checks and care mentioned, particularly we are finding in the teenage years when even adrenalin can have an effect and cause high or low blood sugars, something out of all our control. Some people find that their children benefit from insulin pumps, these are subject to a ‘post code lottery’ these children have their whole lives ahead of them. To conclude I suggest for future articles on Type 1 the Mail contacts the excellent, and always overlooked Type 1 diabetes charity JDRF Uk.


Improving diabetes care COULD save 24,000 lives every year.
But they will not

uh i never inject into lower arms, for me its usually lower stomach area or inside the thigh.
Never been overweight, at time of diagnosis i was drinking constantly and weighed 8 stones.

If by improving diabetes care you mean the 65% of diabetics who refuse to keep to their drug/diet regime taking responsibility for themselves fair enough.

Dietary advice from Diabetes UK is rubbish – and dangerous – they advocate an intake of 10-12 portions of carb a DAY. How insane is that? Excessive carb intake exacerbates diabetes (2). Do yourselves a favour and ignore them. Simply adopt a low carb high fat diet and you can kiss your sugar/insulin imbalance and your pills goodbye within a fortnight. Of course, as this ‘charity’ is hand in glove with pharma companies, they don’t want you to know that.

Finally an article that speaks the truth! Diabetic care in this country is appalling. At my GP surgery there is not one GP who has even basic knowledge of diabetes and on many occasions I have been given grossly negligent information or they have been unable to answer questions. One even had to look up what normal Blood sugar should be in a book! They all believe you should only test your sugars about twice a week which is riduculous. The key to diabetes is good managment, which means testing regularly, taking your medications properly and eating a healthy diet as well as being well monitored by medical staff. My Mum is currently in hospital with kidney failure caused by negligent care by our GP’s. She has been reporting problems for 6 months and not getting any significant help in treating the problem until she was rushed to hospital last week. How much has this emergency treatment now cost the NHS when proper care originally would have cost far less and caused her less illness?

I occasionally read on forums that some diabetic nurses still recommend to type 2 diabetics that they have to consume large quantities of starchy vegetables to remain ‘healthy’. From my own tests (yes, funded by myself I might add) I found that starchy vegetables and especially refined carbohydrates substantially increase my blood sugar levels to dangerous levels. In my opinion there are too many ‘professionals’ who still dont quite understand how to treat diabetes and furthermore rather than treat a diabetic as an individual with individual requirements there is a one size fits all approach and this may not be suitable.

There is only one person who can really help a Type 2 Diabetic and that is that person. My husband has Type 2 Diabetes, born of running pubs and restaurants and being a booze rep back in the ’80s and ’90s, going to conferences and taking parties of potential customers to tour distilleries, winerys and the like in Scotland and Europe. He was diagnosed, through going for an eyetest, about 6 years ago, he has had the most fabulous care from all concerned in the NHS, but I don’t think that I could honestly say in all that time he has taken his medication when he should for more than 21 consecutive days at a time. He drinks the same level as he has always drunk (1-2 bottles of wine a night) I fill him full of good food and fresh fruit and vegetables and still he is in some sort of denial. I’m hoping this article and the fact that this is all over the news may serve as some sort of wake-up call, not only to him but to all those out there who are insisting on pretending it’ll go away.

I’ve found the NHS utterly faultless with my own treatment.
Then again, i do cycle 160km minimum a month, alongisde 60km of running, and 60km of walking and although i do ‘misbehave’ sometimes with food, i always repent and ensure a solid workout follows to reduce my sugar levels.
It’s not rocket science. The more junk you eat, the more you must exercise.
It’s not fair to blame the NHS for this. The only solution for people who refuse to adjust their lifestyles is to lock them up in a prison type environment and feed them and exercise them.
And if anyone complains they are too heavy to exercise….try swimming, walking, step aerobics or using an elliptical machine!

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.

Article source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2073949/Diabetes-deaths-Improving-UK-care-save-24-000-lives-EVERY-YEAR.html?ITO=1490


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