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Young people with diabetes less likely to receive routine care

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Just 12 per cent of people with diabetes aged between 12 and 24 in England received all seven care checks in 2012/13, a report by Diabetes UK has shown.

The report, State of the nation: Challenges for 2015 and beyond, noted that this was an improvement on the previous year, when 6.7 per cent of 12- to 24-year olds received all seven of their annual checks. This is compared to 29 per cent of people with type 1 diabetes and 46 per cent with type 2 diabetes in the working age population.

The seven care processes involve monitoring a patient's blood pressure, serum creatine, HbA1c level, cholesterol, BMI, foot health, urine albumin, and screening their eyes.

The report also highlighted that a quarter of young people with diabetes have high blood glucose levels, which Diabetes UK described as 'worrying.'

Barbara Young, the chief executive of Diabetes UK, said: 'This is not a question of spending more money. In fact, better ongoing standards of care will save money and reduce pressure on NHS resources. It is about people getting the checks they need at their GP surgery and giving people the support and education they need to be able to manage their own condition.'

It is estimated that there are 24,000 young people in England with diabetes. Of these, 96 per cent have type 1 diabetes. The report highlights the importance of early diagnosis of the condition, as 15 per cent of diagnoses are made after the child has developed diabetic ketoacidosis, which can lead to organ failure, comas, and ultimately death.

Diabetes is urging anyone who spends time with young people to be aware of the 'four Ts' (toilet; thirsty; thinner; tired) which serve as indicators to type 1 Diabetes.

Ms Young added that improving the education given to people with diabetes, and ensuring they attend their annual checks 'would give people with diabetes a better chance of a long and healthy life, and save the NHS a significant amount of money.'

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