Most people with diabetes are putting themselves at higher risk of heart disease by failing to keep their cholesterol levels under control, experts have warned.
Charity group Diabetes UK claim that nine in ten diabetics have annual cholesterol checks of which almost 60 per cent reveal higher-than-recommended levels.
But according to the most recent national diabetes audit, which includes data on 1.9 million diabetics in England, many are not taking action to reduce these values and cut their cardiovascular risk.
Diabetes UK say the findings are worrying given the fact people with both the type 1 and type 2 forms of the disease have a higher risk of heart attack, stroke and other heart conditions than those without diabetes.
In addition, high cholesterol can be lowered relatively easily through the use of prescription medication (statins), as well as through regular exercise and healthy eating .
“It is not clear why the high number of people having their annual cholesterol check is not translating into better cholesterol control, but it is an issue that is putting the health of hundreds of thousands of people at risk.” Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said.
“It will often be appropriate to prescribe medication such as statins, but it is no good doing this without explaining the importance of taking the medication regularly and the potentially devastating consequences of not doing so.
“Other ways people can help improve their cholesterol levels include losing weight, exercising daily, reducing alcohol consumptio, stopping smoking and eating a healthy, low-fat diet.”

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