Young people in the UK are more likely to die from type 1 diabetes than in the rest of Europen, according to new research.
The study, conducted by researchers at University College London (UCL), found that the higher mortality rate is due to improper diabetes management, possibly connected to inadequate type 1 diabetes health care.
The death rate of young people from type 1 diabetes in the UK is almost double that of the European average: 0.45 per 100,000 of the population compared to 0.25. Moreover, the death rate in the UK has gone up over the last 15 years.
The death rate in the UK amounts to 37 deaths from type 1 diabetes out of every 100,000 people aged between 15 and 24. If the mortality rate in the UK were the same as in Europen, there would be 17 fewer deaths from type 1 diabetes among young people every year.
The study highlights the need for greater scrutiny of type 1 diabetes care in the UK, to find out where it differs from the care provided in other countries.
The study only found that the death rate is higher than Europe and increasing; it did not explore the reasons why. Russell Viner, lead author of the study, suggests that a number of factors may be responsible for the high mortality rate, including higher levels of poverty and healthcare issues.
“This is a significant concern given that we know diabetes control is poor. This is going that next step and saying that death is rising.
Barbara Young, chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: “It is worrying that poor diabetes control is leading to deaths in children, however we know that in reality it is only an incredibly small number of children and young people with diabetes, aged under 24, who die.
“However, it is of concern that only 16 per cent of children and young people with diabetes achieve target in relation to controlling their condition in England and Wales.
“Improved education, greater access to technology, such as insulin pumps, and better support in schools, can all help to give children with diabetes the best possible chance of living a long and healthy life.”

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