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Rise in children with diabetes

A survey has found more under-18s have diabetes than was formerly thought, prompting calls for a national register of sufferers to be established to improve their medical treatment.

According to research by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), 22,947 young people under 18 have diabetes in England, but previous estimates were around 20,000 for the whole of the UK.

The first national survey of youngsters with the condition found that the majority have type 1, which is not preventable, while the number with type 2, usually linked with being overweight, is 3 in 100,000.

However, it is thought the number with type 2 is increasing as a previous study suggested the figure was around 0.21 per 100,000.

The results also show that more cases of type 1 were found in the north east and south east, but type 2 was most common in London, the north east and the West Midlands.

An NHS report into the survey said: "It is becoming increasingly clear that both the incidence and patient demographics are changing in childhood diabetes and the establishment of a national register would enable these changes to be more closely monitored so that resources are allocated appropriately."

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Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health