Newly published analysis produced by Diabetes UK gives insight into the impact of diabetes on the nation.
According to the leading UK charity, people with diabetes suffer 200,000 devastating complications every year. These include amputations, heart attacks and strokes.
The report has been based on data that forms part of the National Diabetes Audit. Yet despite the sobering nature of the figures involved, the nadir of this phenomenon has yet to be reached, at least based on current projections.
By 2025, it is predicted that the number of people living with diabetes in Britain will soar to 5 million.
These figures illustrate the importance of addressing the disease within the NHS in terms of providing adequate care.
Diabetes is naturally a debilitating condition for sufferers, but it is also one of the largest economic burdens on the NHS. Staggeringly, diabetes alone accounts for 10 per cent of the entire NHS budget, with the health service spending £8 billion annually on tackling the condition.
Much of this expenditure could be prevented, according to Diabetes UK, if appropriate care is provided.
Speaking on these worrying figures, Barbara Young, Diabetes UK Chief Executive, had the following to say: “It is an absolute tragedy that there are almost 200,000 cases a year of debilitating and life threatening diabetes complications such as heart attacks, amputations, and stroke that could be prevented with better care and support.”
Young also made reference to the disparity in care offered to diabetes sufferers depending on the region of the country in which they reside. Research indicates that there can be a gulf of nearly 40 per cent between the areas of the UK with the best and worst treatment of the condition.
“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,” Young opined.
Young also made clear that it was important to communicate to the general public the value of adopting preventative lifestyle-based measures. “The NHS must get better at giving people with diabetes the education they need to take control of their condition,” she asserted.
A study by the World Health Organisation has previously suggested that diabetes in Britain could rise by 25% by the end of the decade, while the National Heart Forum claims that type 2 diabetes could increase in the UK by as much as 98% in the same timeframe.