Diabetes in Wales

Diabetes in Wales affects over 160,000 people
Diabetes in Wales affects over 160,000 people

As with other parts of the UK, diabetes is on the increase in Wales and is estimated to affect around 1 in 14 people in Wales.

The proportion of children being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in Wales is of particular concern.

Diabetes prevalence in Wales

In 2012, the number of people diagnosed with diabetes in Wales stands at just over 160,000 which represents 5% of the Welsh population.

Another 66,000 are estimated to be living with diabetes but yet to be diagnosed. Assuming the estimate is correct, it means that around 1 in 14 people in Wales will be currently living with diabetes.[58]

Diabetes UK Cymru estimate that there are around 350,000 people at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In 2012, the One in Ten campaign was launched, in which each pharmacy in Wales provides a free walk in health assessment to identify people at a high risk of type 2 diabetes and stroke.

Blood glucose control in Wales

The 2009-2010 National Diabetes Audit shows that in Wales 63% of people with diabetes achieved an HbA1c value of 7.5% or below (58 mmol/mol). [59]

About 1 in 12 people with diabetes in Wales recorded high HbA1c values over 10% (86 mmol/mol).

The audit shows that for people with type 2 diabetes, the number of people achieving an HbA1c value of 7.5% (58 mmol/mol) or below improves with age.

Amongst 11 to 15 year olds, only about 14% of teenagers with type 1 diabetes recorded an HbA1c value of 7.5% (58 mmol/mol) or below.

As with type 2 diabetes, achievement of this target improves with age with almost 50% of people over 85 with type 1 diabetes achieving the target.

Blood pressure and cholesterol

Between 2009 and 2010, a higher percentage people with diabetes in Wales achieved the blood pressure and cholesterol targets than people with diabetes in England.

Blood pressure

  • 70% of people with type 1 diabetes achieved blood pressure readings of 140/80 or below.
  • 61% of people with type 2 diabetes achieved blood pressure readings of 140/80 or below.

Cholesterol

  • 75% of people with type 1 diabetes achieved a total cholesterol reading of below 5.0 mmol/l.
  • 78% of people with type 2 diabetes achieved a total cholesterol reading of below 5.0 mmol/l.

Diabetic ketoacidosis in Wales

The National Diabetes Paediatric Audit of 2009-2010 shows that youngsters with type 1 diabetes in Wales had a higher prevalence of DKA than youngsters in England.

As is the case in England, a higher percentage of young females suffered DKA in the previous year than young males.

Over 9% of females under 24 years old recorded an episode of DKA compared with just over 6% of males under 24. [60]

Type 2 diabetes in children

Prevalence of type 2 diabetes was also recorded as higher in Wales than in England in the National Diabetes Paediatric Audit of 2009-2010.

1.5% of males under 24 with diabetes are recorded as having type 2 diabetes and 3.3% of females under 24 with diabetes are recorded as having type 2.

Structured diabetes education in Wales

Diabetes UK Cymru have highlighted that the number of people in Wales receiving structured education is low compared with the rest of the UK. In 2012 Diabetes UK Cymru reported that only 2% of people with diabetes had received structured education.