Health risks in diabetics significantly higher

DIABETICS are 65 per cent more likely to suffer heart failure than the general population, according to new results from the ongoing National Diabetes Audit.

In 2010/11, 45,000 people with diabetes in England and Wales suffered heart failure which is 17,700 (65 per cent) more than the number expected (27,300). The audit also found that diabetics have a 40 per cent higher death rate than the general population and that increases to 135 per cent in patients with Type 1 diabetes. Women with diabetes are at a greater relative risk of death than men with the condition.

The National Diabetes Audit is now in its eighth year and thought to be the largest of its kind in the world. It is managed by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) in partnership with Diabetes UK and Diabetes Health Intelligence. The findings are standardised to take into account differences between the general and diabetic population.

The audit has also found that diabetics are 25 per cent more likely to suffer a stroke and 144 per cent more likely to need dialysis or a kidney transplant. Minor amputations (part of foot) are 331 per cent more likely among diabetics and major amputations (below or above knee) are 210 per cent more likely.

Audit lead clinician Dr Bob Young, consultant diabetologist and clinical lead for the National Diabetes Information Service, said: "These results highlight the huge impact of diabetes on disability and premature death. Much can be done to reduce these risks if all health care sectors work together with people who have diabetes. Some districts have appreciably lower diabetes related complications than others. Improving treatment for diabetes should be a top priority for all clinical services."

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