Diabetes is a disease of the poor

Tue, 14 Nov 2006
A report published jointly by leading charity Diabetes UK in association with the All Party Parliamentary Group for Diabetes indicates that poor people are most at risk from developing diabetes and the complications that result from the disease.

Both agencies agreed that more has to be done about diabetes and social inequalities, after finding that the poorest communities are 2.5 times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than the average population. Researchers also found that the impoverished were 3.5 times more likely to develop serious diabetes complications.

The research warned of a ‘forgotten generation’ who faced ill health, also indicating that of the 3 million people expected to have diabetes in 2010, almost half would come from disadvantaged communities.

Complications were also found to be more common, with many people in deprived areas not getting access to checks needed to prevent complications. These checks included blood glucose level checks and blood pressure monitoring, as well as retinopathy and neuropathy tests.

The chief executive of Diabetes UK, Douglas Smallwood, said: "With late diagnosis, poor care and poor lifestyles compounding the difficult task of managing diabetes, people in deprived communities have a bleak future . The diagnosis of diabetes exacerbates existing problems for people in diverse groups, who may already be struggling to cope. It will take a huge shift in both attitudes and services to reverse this pattern for future generations."
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