Fast food and the excessive consumption of alcohol are being blamed for a dramatic rise in the number of deaths from diabetes in the Lothians, it has emerged. It is thought that 28 people have died as a direct result of diabetes in the last three months, twice the number for the same period in 2009.
With about 16,000 people known to have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes in Edinburgh, health chiefs argue they are doing all they can to prevent more people becoming diabetic through a range of public health initiatives. However, experts believe that deaths attributable to diabetes are not being properly reported, and that the effects of the condition cannot be properly addressed until it is officially measured.
Alan McGinley, policy and public affairs manager for the charity Diabetes Scotland, commented “The trend is upward and we have to work hard to slow that down and stop it.”
He added “There is a movement to get it marked down more. I think it’s often seen in the background in deaths in cases of heart disease but rarely included. It is very often the trigger for a range of these illnesses.”
There is a bill currently working its way through the Scottish Parliament that encourages GPs to include diabetes on death certificates much more often. Mr McGinley argues that if diabetes received greater formally recognition as a cause of death, it would be able to garner more research funding, as well as increase public health awareness of the disease.

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