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Warning over diabetes complications

A whole generation of diabetes sufferers are facing the risk of serious complications from the condition, an NHS report warns.

Hospitals may have to provide substantial care to hundreds of thousands of people with diabetes who are likely to develop associated problems such as stroke and kidney failure in the future, it said.

The diabetes audit, the biggest such exercise in the world, has found that health checks to manage the condition are more accessible for people in the 55-69 age group than those who are younger.

Unless diabetics are given support to keep blood sugar levels under control they could end up with severe complications, leading even to blindness or amputation of limbs.

The study also found some social groups are at higher risk of complications than others and the kind of treatment patients receive vary substantially between hospitals.

An estimated 2.5 million people in the UK are diagnosed with lifestyle-related type 2 diabetes, but a million are believed to be living with the condition without knowing it.

A further 300,000 people have type 1 diabetes, which usually develops in childhood, but both forms of diabetes are on the rise.

Copyright Press Association 2011

Your comments (terms and conditions apply):

"I presented with occasional tremors,a symptom of diabetes, saw two Doctors and a consultant. Non tested for diabetes which was found by coincidence later" - R Matta

"It may be of interest that, during Diabetes Week the DSNs at NMUH randomly went on a public blood glucose checks and picked up 11 possibly diabetics and 5 definite patients over the week. Out of 130!" - Gloria Lamptey, North London

"Why the increase now? Years ago it was unheard of. Is it to do with the amount of fat and sugar hidden in our everyday food?" - Jackie Reilly, Bedfordshire

"Those patients on high dose statins are usually on the drug because of Familial Hypercholesteroaemia a genetic condition, and most likely are at high risk of developing diabetes purely from their genetic make up and not a direct link of their medication. I feel we are always exposed to a new scare story in the media around statins every month now. Statins do save
lives and reduce heart disease risks. Diabetes will continue to affect a large population of the UK unless we address diet and exercise" - Caroline Stephens

"Yes, especially as it is not just those with uncontrolled diabetes that suffer complications. Diabetes clinics and services have to be more accessible to working people as they cannot keep taking time off to attend clinics, eye screening, blood tests etc. Services need to be a one stop and offer evenings and weekends" - Kim Wood, Kent