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Diabetes deaths could be avoided if they 'received better NHS care'

  • 8 Comments

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% 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.”

 

  • 8 Comments

Readers' comments (8)

  • Again it's the fault of the NHS. Any ideas, folks, how to drag peoplel to their regular reviews, prevent the cream cakes and chips being consumed and get them walking? Wake up, government - we're trying as hard as we can!

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  • I totally agree with Marilyn, there is only so much NHS professionals can do, patients have to take responsablity for their own health.

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  • Bull***t!!!!!

    First of all, 'better NHS care' cannot happen if services and staff are constantly cut and starved of funds!!!

    Secondly, patients MUST start taking responsibility for their own health too, the headline could read 'Diabetes deaths could be avoided if they were more compliant with NHS care and advice!

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  • "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."

    this newspaper report does not state how many patients die due to not receiving the basic diabetic health checks (which can be done privately as well as on the NHS), how many have unhealthy lifestyles, how many do not take their medication properly, how many do not understand, how many do not attend their appointments and above all how many do not receive adequate education and support from the NHS! without these figures, such allegations as those in the headline of this article cannot be made.

    Such sensational headlines seem to have become the mode and propagate more and more bad feelings towards the NHS (which is obviously the intention).

    Press and public seem to forget that this organisation is made up of a huge body of individuals, a large proportion of which are highly trained, skilled and competent healthcare workers who are caring and excellent at the job they do. they cannot all be tarred with the same brush under a single label such as NHS and then blamed for all its failings!

    Most people do not wish or choose to be ill or use the health services at all so the NHS and those who work in it tend to be pushed aside and forgotten about until people need it or are forced to use it. Therefore they do not seem to understand or want to recognise that it needs huge financial resources to run it effectively. It is high time that Britain woke up and realised those working in the service sector and providing services to the public (often at great personal sacrifice in terms of unsocial hours, long shifts, poor working conditions, low salaries, inadequate pension schemes, increased retirement ages, risks to their health) must enjoy the same working conditions and salaries as the private sector.

    Furthermore without pouring adequate funds into healthcare they will be unable to continue providing the best and most up to date services to a growing population and keep abreast with all the advances in medicine which require further and costly training, adequate salaries, replacement and maintenance of obsolete equipment and providing adequate facilities, etc., etc.

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  • I agree that patients should take more responsiblity of their health, but we also have to think of all those people who may not be educated enough to understand the meaning of a healthy life style and healthy eating . Many people in the society do not know the causes and risk factors of high blood pressure and heart attacks and not aware of Diabeties too ,because they are not aware of the risk factors and conditions that it may cause. I think that the best way people can get this health education knowledge is by envolving residents associations groups in the community to create workshops in whch dieticians or health professionals could come and give health talks and also create exercise and dance groups for the young and old people , for healthy living within these community estates to motivate people. lilian kaluma

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  • Unfortunately some patients are prevented from taking care of themselves. We had to ask to change to suitable insulin regimens when one was not working. We received no support when trying to obtain an insulin pump. Many find difficulty in obtaining prescriptions for blood glucose monitoring and some patients have had items removed from their prescription. Even one patient had their childs insulin removed from the script until the child had been "reviewed"!! Many clinics are putting patients on old fashioned restrictive regimens that are not working instead of MDI or insulin pumps. Patients often don’t get to see the same doctor at each clinic. When my daughter with type 1 diabetes has been admitted to hospital on various occasions over the years, I have been appalled at the lack of basic knowledge about type 1 diabetes. Most people with type 1 diabetes are terrified of being admitted to hospital because most of the staff doesn’t know what to do. If the diabetes clinic staff are away at a weekend it’s very scary. As for the comment by someone about cream cake and chips. People with type 1 diabetes do not make any insulin and insulin has to be injected to cover the carbs eaten. So it matters not whether someone is eating a sandwich a potato or an occasional slice of birthday cake. You have to give insulin for every single thing you eat. So there is no reason why someone with type 1 diabetes shouldn’t eat the same diet as recommended for everyone. Which normally includes the occasional cake or portion of chips. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition and is not caused by diet!

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  • Unfortunately some patients are prevented from taking care of themselves. We had to ask to change to suitable insulin regimens when one was not working. We received no support when trying to obtain an insulin pump. Many find difficulty in obtaining prescriptions for blood glucose monitoring and some patients have had items removed from their prescription. Even one patient had their childs insulin removed from the script until the child had been "reviewed"!! Many clinics are putting patients on old fashioned restrictive regimens that are not working instead of MDI or insulin pumps. Patients often don’t get to see the same doctor at each clinic. When my daughter with type 1 diabetes has been admitted to hospital on various occasions over the years, I have been appalled at the lack of basic knowledge about type 1 diabetes. Most people with type 1 diabetes are terrified of being admitted to hospital because most of the staff doesn’t know what to do. If the diabetes clinic staff are away at a weekend it’s very scary. As for the comment by someone about cream cake and chips. People with type 1 diabetes do not make any insulin and insulin has to be injected to cover the carbs eaten. So it matters not whether someone is eating a sandwich a potato or an occasional slice of birthday cake. You have to give insulin for every single thing you eat. So there is no reason why someone with type 1 diabetes shouldn’t eat the same diet as recommended for everyone. Which normally includes the occasional cake or portion of chips. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition and is not caused by diet!

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  • i believe that people do know what they eat, whether its healthy or not, its splashed all over the tv and buses, so no excuse, its maybe because people cant see beneath their skin what damage they do to their bodies that they can easily ignore it, even if they are overweight they blame it on other things. people love to blame NHS and nurses and are not willing to take responsibility for themselves and will try to make a quick buck wherever they can! its the nature of the beast of the 21st century!

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