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Young adults with type 1 diabetes four time more likely to die than peers

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Young adults with Type 1 diabetes are much more likely to die than their peers because they are not getting the healthcare they need to manage their condition, Diabetes UK has warned.

Young women with Type 1 diabetes are nine times more likely to die – and young men with Type 1 diabetes are four times more likely – and this is likely to be because many of them have not had the care needed to give them the best chance of a long and healthy life.

The lack of good quality healthcare is reflected in the fact that 85 per cent of children with Type 1 diabetes have poor blood glucose control, which puts them at significantly increased risk of devastating health complications later in life. Just 15 per cent of children with the condition have HbA1C levels (the standard measurement for blood glucose) of under 7.5 per cent, compared to the 34 per cent of children achieving this in comparable countries such as Germany and Austria.

This is why Diabetes UK has published a guide today (Wednesday) called the Type 1 essentials for children and young people that sets out the 10 things that every child with Type 1 diabetes needs. It is calling on the NHS management to make sure the resources are in place so that children with Type 1 diabetes have access to this care and for healthcare professionals to make sure their patients are getting good quality care and so empowers the parents of children with Type 1 diabetes when they discuss care with healthcare professionals.

Barbara Young, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said: “The fact that so many people with Type 1 diabetes are doing less well than they should is at least partly the consequence of the quality of healthcare for children with the condition.

“Our Type 1 essentials for children and young people sets out the care every child with Type 1 diabetes should be getting but, many children do not get this care.

“There is no good reason why we should be lagging so far behind countries such as Germany in terms of management of the condition but the stark truth is that the UK fails to deliver good quality healthcare for children with Type 1 diabetes. Every child needs to get the 10 things that can make a real difference.

“By publishing our guide to what good care looks like, we hope the NHS will ensure that services are commissioned and organised to give every child with Type 1 diabetes the quality of healthcare they deserve and we want parents and healthcare professionals to understand what good care is so they can play their part in making sure it is delivered.

“Our children with Type 1 diabetes have been let down by poor healthcare for too long. By making sure every child gets 10 out of 10, we can give every child with the condition the best possible chance of a long and healthy life.” 

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