Stroke and kidney failure among diabetics at record high

RATES OF STROKE among people with diabetes in England rose 57 per cent between 2006/07 and 2009/10 according to new analysis published by Diabetes UK.

Kidney failure rates among diabetics rose 31 per cent over the same period. Both figures are based on analysis of people registered in the National Diabetes Audit (NDA) and suggest that rates were higher in 2009/10 than in any year since the NDA began recording them in 2003.

Taking the NDA figures as being representative of rates across England means that more than 16,000 people with diabetes had a stroke and more than 8,800 diabetics suffered kidney failure in 2009/10.

Diabetes UK hopes these statistics will highlight the importance of people with diabetes having their blood pressure and kidney function checked every year. The organisation recently ran a survey showing that almost a quarter (22 per cent) of people with diabetes were unaware of having had their kidney function checked in the previous year, while seven per cent had not had their blood pressure checked.

Barbara Young, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, said: "It is shocking that rates of strokes and kidney failure in people with diabetes are now at record levels, and yet thousands of people are still not getting the health checks that can help prevent them.

"These figures are a reminder that all people with diabetes should have these checks every year, as this is the simplest and most effective way of reducing risk of complications such as stroke and kidney failure. We also need to get the message across to people with diabetes that they should demand these checks if they are not already getting them.

"Stroke and kidney failure are complications that hugely reduce quality of life for many people with diabetes, while the cost of treatment far exceeds that of the simple checks that can help prevent them developing in the first place.”