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Diabetes costs NHS £1m per hour

A report published today by leading health charity, Diabetes UK confirms that diabetes is one of the biggest health challenges facing the UK. 
Diabetes. Beware the Silent Assassin, reveals that approximately 10% of NHS spending goes on diabetes and its complications, which equates to £9bn per year or £1m an hour. 
The report also reveals that one in ten people in hospital in the UK have diabetes and 60% of inpatients with diabetes have been admitted as emergencies.  
Douglas Smallwood, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said: "Diabetes leads to heart disease, stroke, amputations, kidney failure and blindness and causes more deaths than breast and prostate cancer combined. Type 2 diabetes can remain undetected for 10 years or more before someone is diagnosed. It really is a silent assassin" more than 500,000 people have the condition but do not even know it and by the time they are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 50% of people are found to have started developing complications."
Diabetes UK today launches the "Silent Assassin" campaign to highlight that diabetes is a serious condition and improve awareness of its devastating complications.
The campaign encourages people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes to make urgent changes in their lifestyle. Diabetes UK also wants to ensure that people with type 1 diabetes or with type 2 diabetes have access to appropriate care, support and education to help them manage their condition effectively and avoid developing the life-shattering complications of diabetes.  
John Clark, from Dagenham, East London, had type 2 diabetes and died of heart failure in May this year, aged 51. His wife Elaine said: "John was first diagnosed with diabetes in 1990 and despite warnings about his high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, continued to smoke, drink too much, eat unhealthy takeaways and not monitor his blood glucose levels properly. He would also often walk out of check-up appointments if he had to wait too long.As a result, John lost most of his vision from diabetic retinopathy within three months in 2000; he went completely blind a year later. 
"In July 2007 he had a stroke and spent 17 weeks in hospital. Soon after returning home he began having severe hypos and wasn't eating so was readmitted for a further 16 weeks, in which time he lost six stone. He was then moved to a nursing home where he died three weeks later. 
"There needs to be better public awareness about the seriousness of diabetes and better access to care for people with the condition. We still find it hard to believe and accept how much damage diabetes can cause when not controlled; it is something I would not wish anyone to experience."
The campaign messages will be communicated through a series of UK-wide posters as well as newspaper and consumer magazine advertising from October 2008. The number of people with diabetes in the UK is rising dramatically, there are currently 2.3 million people diagnosed with the condition in the UK and it is estimated that there will be more than four million people with diabetes (diagnosed and undiagnosed) by 2025.
The Diabetes UK Silent Assassin report can be accessed



Learn how to beat the Silent Assassin.

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