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Charity urges Government to promote diabetes awareness

Diabetes UK has issued a stark warning of the potential dangers if not enough is done to ensure those living with diabetes access education and screening services. In a statement issued on World Diabetes Day, the health charity has called on the Government and the NHS to address low take-up of diabetes education courses, suggesting a target of at least one in two with the condition taking part by 2020.

In a new analysis of official data, Diabetes UK says that each day 65 people in the UK die early from the condition and hundreds more are at risk of severe complications. The charity’s analysis also reveals that on an average day:

  • 20 people have lower limbs amputated, of which around 80 per cent are preventable
  • 203 experience heart failure and 78 have strokes
  • 39 people require dialysis or kidney transplants.

Many of these complications can be avoided or delayed through earlier intervention to manage the condition, the charity says, yet many are missing out: “Only a small minority of people with diabetes are currently on life-saving diabetes education and [some are] missing out on vital health checks”.

The last 10 years has seen a dramatic rise in the number of adults diagnosed living with diabetes, largely due to rapidly increasing rates of Type 2 diabetes. GP records show that in the last year alone, the number of registered patients rose by 137,000.

Diabetes UK chief executive Chris Askew said: “Diabetes is a killer. It’s a serious condition with serious, life-threatening complications. And it is the fastest-growing epidemic of our time. The more you know about diabetes, the better. Cutting your risk of developing devastating complications is crucial. You can talk things through with our specialist helpline team who really understand diabetes and make sure you’re getting all of the 15 vital checks and services you’re entitled to from the NHS.”

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