Attending annual checks for diabetes can help people live longer

Jack Woodfield
Thu, 13 Jul 2017
Attending annual checks for diabetes can help people live longer
Yearly checks can increase life expectancy for people with diabetes compared to those who do not receive them, a new report shows.

The National Diabetes Audit 2015-16 found that attending the NICE-recommended annual check-ups during the preceding seven-year period helped people with diabetes live longer.

The figures show that mortality rate, the rate at which people die, was halved amongst people attending the checks compared to those who didn't. This increased life expectancy was applicable to both women and men of all ages.

For the purpose of the report, only three care processes were analysed: HbA1c, blood pressure and blood lipid levels. Complete care checks were judged to include all three checks done in each of the seven years.

The report comprised data from people with type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes between January 2015 and March 2016. Those who received all the care checks were compared with people who had only 12 out of the 21 care checks over the seven-year period, with information taken from five age groups from 35-39 and 70-74.

The audit also found that younger people with diabetes are at greater relative risk of death than older people, stressing the importance of annual check-ups to monitor any early signs of complications.

People with diabetes are more at risk of complications than the general population, but these can be caught at health reviews enabling treatment to be administered faster.

The new National Diabetes Auditreport also examined prevalence of hospital admissions, diabetes-related complications and mortality among people with diabetes.

The is one of several major ongoing audits of NHS care in England and Wales that aim to help local providers benchmark their performance and improve the quality of their services.

In January this year, the first report of the National Diabetes Audit was published covering care processes and treatment targets. It found that the percentage of people with type 1 diabetes achieving the annual treatment targets for glucose control, blood pressure and cholesterol varied from 11 per cent in some Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) to 34 per cent in others.
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