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ENGLEMED HEALTH NEWS

Warning as insulin use surges

Thursday February 6th, 2014

The number of people treated with insulin for diabetes has trebled in 20 years, researchers revealed today.

The increase is because of growing numbers of people with type 2 diabetes treated with insulin, according to a Cardiff University study.

By 2010 some 421,300 people were using insulin.

This compared with just 136,800 in 1991, according to the report in the Journal of Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism.

In 1991 just 37,000 people with type 2 diabetes were prescribed insulin - but this increased by 240,000 in the two decades. Type 2 diabetes is often caused by obesity.

This meant the bill for insulin to the NHS increased from £156 million to £359 million.

According to researcher Professor Craig Currie, many of these insulin prescriptions may be unnecessary.

He said: "Most of this is unrelated to clinical need. Insulin is very expensive and some of us believe that it involves too many serious side effects in people with type 2 diabetes.”

He added: "The increase in the number of people with type 2 diabetes using insulin is a wake-up call for all – not only in terms of lifestyle choices and how we treat people with type 2 diabetes."

How many people inject insulin? UK estimates from 1991 to 2010 Journal of Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism 6 February 2014; doi: 10.1111/dom.12260

Tags: Diabetes | Diet & Food | Pharmaceuticals | UK News

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