Young people in England have one of the highest incidences of type 1 diabetes. At present, more than 20,000 young people have the condition, which represents the fourth largest population in Europe and the fifth largest population in the world.1,2
More worrying is the fact that young people in this country have one of the worst records for diabetic control in Western Europe. Recent evidence from the National Diabetes Paediatric Audit Report indicates that more than 85 per cent of young people with type 1 diabetes did not achieve the NICE recommended HbA1c levels and it is for this reason that type 1 diabetes amongst young people represents a major public health concern.3
Achieving glycaemic control
This article focuses on supporting young people to manage their diabetes. In particular, it addresses the importance of achieving good glycaemic control, why this is not always possible and what can be done to help young people manage their diabetes more effectively, including the part that nurses can play in assisting young people.
For long-term conditions, like type 1 diabetes, self-care is central to achieving recommended HbA1c levels (i.e. good glycaemic control, and optimising health and well-being) because the condition quickly worsens with lapses in lifestyle routine.