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Thousands of diabetes deaths could be avoidable

The National Diabetes Audit carried out for the NHS Information Centre has revealed that there are up to 24,000 avoidable deaths of diabetes patients in England every year due to poor management of their condition, a third of all deaths from diabetes. The report also claimed that the death rate for women with diabetes aged between 15 and 34 is now nine times greater than for women in the same age group who do not have the metabolic condition.
In addition, the death rate for diabetic men of the same age saw a four-fold rise, as compared with men of the same age without the condition, and that up to three quarters of the total of avoidable deaths were for people aged 65 or over.
The poor management involved included patients not getting the basic healthcare checks, bad diet and unhealthy lifestyle, as well as failing to take their medication properly. The audit said that the lack of such care could be increasing the risk of avoidable deaths.
Bob Young, clinical lead for the National Diabetes Information Service and audit lead, commented “For the first time we have a reliable measure of the huge impact of diabetes on early death, many of which could be prevented.”
Barbara Young, chief executive of the charity Diabetes UK, also pointed out “We know that half of people with Type 2 and more than two thirds of people with type 1 diabetes are not receiving the care they need to stay healthy.”

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