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Growing diabetes levels in the young presents challenge to NHS

A new survey for the NHS has found that there are almost 300,000 children and younger adults in England and Wales with diabetes that have high levels of blood sugar which, if left untreated, could lead to severe and disabling complications like kidney failure, stroke and limb amputation .
The national audit, thought to be the largest of its kind every undertake, carried out by the NHS Information Centre and the Healthcare Quality Improvement Partnership, revealed that 144,000 of these diabetes patients have such high blood sugar levels that put them in danger of these complications .
The report suggests that there are major concerns over the need for hospital care by the NHS in the future, due to children and younger adults not receiving sufficient checks into monitoring their condition, as compared to older people. It was shown that 42 per cent of people between the age of 24 and 54 get the nine recommended basic care checks each year – including blood pressure, blood sugar and foot checks – as compared to 54 per cent of adults that are over 55.
These figures should also be seen in the context of children and younger adults being much more likely to become obese than people who are older. For younger adults with type 2 diabetes, for instance, nine out of 10 were found to be either overweight or obese .
Barbara Young, chief executive of the charity Diabetes UK, commented “This highlights the need for urgent action to ensure that people with diabetes start to receive all the basic care processes, otherwise there will be more amputations, more people going blind, and more cases of kidney failure, heart disease and stroke.”

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