Approximately 500 people in the UK die each week due to avoidable complications relating to diabetes, analysis of the NHS Diabetes Audit has found.
The analysis estimates that there are around 500 premature deaths a week for people with diabetes, and the total number of deaths has increased by around 10% over the last three years. The analysis showed patients with type 2 diabetes are up to two times more likely to die prematurely, with heart attacks and strokes among the major contributing factors to the premature deaths.
‘500 preventable, premature deaths each week is a harrowing statistic that highlights how serious diabetes can be. It’s vital that this seriousness is recognised, and that the NHS continues to fund improvements to diabetes care beyond 2019, as it has been doing through the Diabetes Transformation Fund,’ said Chris Askew, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK.
‘The importance of helping people with diabetes avoid preventable complications, which can often lead to death, cannot be overstated. 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. Progress is being made and shouldn’t stop now, to ensure the benefits of transformation are fully realised.’
Additionally, 680 people suffer a stroke as a complication of while 530 people suffer a diabetes-related heart attack. Adding to this, there are around 2,000 cases of diabetes-related heart failure.
‘If you have diabetes, you’re more likely to have a heart attack or stroke. And with the number of people living with diabetes on the rise, thousands more will be at risk,’ said Ashleigh Li, Senior Cardiac Nurse at the British Heart Foundation.
‘We need to see bold action being taken to tackle obesity and inactivity, especially in younger people. That means acting to limit junk food advertising aimed at children on television and online, and banning promotions such as ‘multi-buy’ offers on less healthy foods in the retail environment. But it absolutely has to include more research to better understand how diabetes leads to these deadly heart and circulatory conditions, and how we can stop it.’