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Majority of people are not meeting treatment targets for diabetes control

New research by Diabetes UK shows that only one in five people have their condition under control, leaving many people at risk of developing preventable complications such as stroke, kidney failure and amputation.

Diabetes UK has announced new data, which show that just one in five people with diabetes are meeting treatment targets for diabetes control. According to data from the National Diabetes Audit, just 19.9% of people with diabetes in England are able to meet the recommended targets for blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol. This figure was lower in people with type 1 diabetes, with only 11.5% of people achieving good diabetes control.

Diabetes UK believes that poor diabetes control is contributing to the high rates of diabetes-related complications and premature deaths in the UK. Although complications such as kidney failure, stroke and amputation are preventable, a recent report revealed that only 54% of people with diabetes are getting the nine annual checks recommended by the NICE. Diabetes UK is calling on the government to help increase these figures, especially in areas across England where less than 20% of people are receiving annual checks.

In addition to the adverse effects on personal health, diabetes-related complications are also extremely expensive to treat. The NHS spends £10 billion a year on diabetes care, with an estimated 10% spent on treating these preventable complications.  

Barbara Young, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said: “It is time to break the cycle of poor diabetes management and poor health outcomes. By investing in the healthcare and ongoing structured education to enable people with diabetes to manage their condition, we can ensure they have the best possible chance of a long and healthy life. But this will not happen by itself. We need local services to take this seriously and to put in place the care that all people with diabetes deserve and we need the government to finally make diabetes a priority and insist that everyone with the condition gets good quality healthcare.”

Diabetes UK is campaigning to increase empowerment amongst people with diabetes through the delivery of structured education and care plans. The organisation has outlined 15 Healthcare Essentials, which are vital for good diabetes care and management. This document can be downloaded from: www.diabetes.org.uk/15-essentials

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