Diabetes control in children improves for sixth consecutive year in England and Wales

Jack Woodfield
Fri, 03 Mar 2017
Diabetes control in children improves for sixth consecutive year in England and Wales
Diabetes management among children and teenagers has significantly improved for a sixth year running in England and Wales, according to a new report.

These findings from the National Paediatric Diabetes Audit (NPDA) also showed that the number of children with diabetes receiving the essential health checks has risen to 66 per cent from 55 per cent in the previous year.

More than 28,000 children and young people with diabetes in England and Wales were monitored as part of the audit, with poor diabetes control falling from 24 per cent in 2013/14 to 18 per cent in 2015/16.

The number of children and young people with type 1 diabetes achieving excellent diabetes control increased from 17 per cent in 2013/14 to 27 per cent in 2015/16.

This is the sixth consecutive year that diabetes control has improved in children in both England and Wales.

Dr Justin Warner, clinical lead for the NPDA and member of the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Heath, said: "The fact that care for children with diabetes continues to significantly improve is excellent news and is what we aim to demonstrate when delivering this audit year on year.

"The impact of the improvement in blood glucose levels over the last six years should not be underestimated and will reduce the risk of future complications significantly.

"Furthermore, the improvements seen in completion of essential health checks - foot, eye and kidney disease screening - is excellent news."

However, the audit also found the level of care among centres in England Wales is considerably variable and it has been recommended that better working relationships should be introduced.

Obesity was found to be more prevalent in young people with type 1 diabetes than in previous years and those who live in deprived areas are more likely to suffer from diabetes-related complications.

Additionally, 9.7 per cent of young people with type 1 diabetes were shown to be demonstrating early signs of kidney disease (nephropathy), while there was evidence of eye disease (retinopathy) in 13.8 per cent of these children.

Benedict Jephcote, Head of Education at Diabetes.co.uk, said: "It's really excellent to see positive results in young people. There have been some great advances in recent years with new technology more widely available and this appears to be paying off.

"The improvements in diabetes control and monitoring for complications will help children to enjoy better health and enjoy happier lives going forwards."
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