The Welsh government has reported that deaths from diabetes-related conditions have fallen by more than a quarter over the last four years.
In 2009, this number stood at 420, but ministers have welcomed the 28 per cent fall to 300 between 2009 and 2013.
Deputy Health Minister Vaughan Gething said ministers were “taking action” to diagnose diabetes as early as possible, but the Welsh NHS still spends over half a billion pounds a year providing diabetes care.
“As a country we are facing a huge increase in the number of people with diabetes,” said Gething. “The reality is much of the increase in type 2 diabetes is due to the ageing population and more of us becoming overweight. This has serious implications for people’s health and this places further pressure on our NHS.”
Patchy performance
Diabetes UK Cymru director Dai Williams believes the falling number of deaths from diabetes-related conditions has been a recent trend, but there is still work to be done in the Welsh population.
“If you look at it in a bit more detail, it is patchy,” said Williams. “The headlines sound good, scratch a bit behind them and they’re not telling us anything we don’t already know.”
“We know that only one in three people with diabetes are meeting treatment targets, that hasn’t improved,” Williams added, explaining the Welsh figures.
Dr Andrew Goodall, chief executive of the NHS, also believes further improvements need to be made in Wales following these figures.
“This will need to be a joint effort between the service in NHS Wales and the public. Obesity is the top risk factor for type 2 diabetes at all ages and 58 per cent of all adults in Wales in 2013 are overweight or obese. This will need many of us to change our lifestyles if we are to tackle diabetes effectively in the future,” Goodall said.

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