Roughly 200,000 patients with diabetes suffer health complications each year, such as heart attacks, stroke and amputations, according to Diabetes UK.
The diabetes charity announced these figures after analysing data from the National Diabetes Audit. There were 199,537 cases of diabetes-related complications in England and Wales between 2012-2013.
Further figures revealed that only 36 per cent of diabetes patients in England and Wales met the recommended levels for blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose. In the best performing area, still only 48 per cent achieved these targets.
Diabetes UK chief executive Barbara Young said: “With the numbers of people with diabetes rising at an alarming rate, it is vital that the government and the NHS act urgently to end the postcode lottery of diabetes care, and ensure that all people living with diabetes get the support and care they need to live long healthy lives.”
Diabetes UK have previous claimed that diabetes could bankrupt the NHS, but Dr. Partha Kar, diabetologist and advisor for NHS Survival, believes the issue for people with diabetes-related complications is that the money the NHS has might not be spent properly.
Kar told “We need to put these things in context. We have increased health checks, over-40 checks and there is better awareness of type 2 diabetes – people are coming forward to have their checks, and the fallout of that is that more people are being diagnosed.
“So, how can diabetes bankrupt the NHS? We don’t even know what is being done with the money that the government has right now. I think it’s a false economy to say that the NHS will be bankrupted, because we don’t know what the government is doing.”
It is possible for people with diabetes to start to develop complications within a few years of diagnosis, but keeping good control of your diabetes can help you live for years without complications.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is important, as is maintaining control of blood glucose levels and HbA1c. You can further reduce your risk of complications by quitting smoking and having a low alcohol intake.

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