Figures released by England’s National Health Service this month have revealed that around 500 U.K. residents die prematurely each week from complications of diabetes, including amputations, CVD, stroke and kidney disease.
Despite a two-year, $101 million effort to improve diabetes care across England, the NHS is being criticized for a lack of appropriate resources for patients living with diabetes mellitus, the Telegraph reported Oct. 29. An analysis of the NHS National Diabetes Audit found diabetic deaths have increased by roughly 10 percent over the past three years.
“Five hundred preventable, premature deaths each week is a harrowing statistic that highlights how serious diabetes can be,” Chris Askew, chief executive of Diabetes UK, told the Telegraph. Diabetes UK is calling on the NHS to improve the quality of its local services beyond 2019.
“It’s vital that this seriousness is recognized, and that the NHS continues to fund improvements to diabetes care beyond 2019, as it has been doing through the Diabetes Transformation Fund.”
Cardiovascular disease and stroke are the most common complications of diabetes that can lead to an early death, but the NHS cites sight loss, amputation and kidney disease as other contributors to diabetic fatalities.
The Telegraph reported people with type 2 diabetes are up to twice as likely to experience premature death, and those living with type 1 diabetes see a three- to four-fold increased risk.
“The importance of helping people with diabetes avoid preventable complications, which can often lead to death, cannot be overstated,” Askew said. “If we want to reduce the number of people with diabetes dying early and unnecessarily, the investment and work started in 2017 needs to be continued.”
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