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Alarm at young adult diabetes care

Thursday October 2nd, 2014

Young adults with diabetes are getting much worse care than older people with the condition, according to the findings of a major study published today.

The shortfalls apply to people with type 1 diabetes and also those with type 2 diabetes, according to the National Diabetes Audit.

Patients are meant to undergo a total of nine tests as part of annual checks, including blood pressure, eye screening and foot tests.

But just 29.1% of those with type 1 diabetes under the age of 40 received as many as eight of these tests. And just 46.3% of those with type 2 diabetes received them.

Twice as many of those over the age of 65 with type 1 diabetes received at least eight tests - 59.9%, the study found, as did 66.7% of those with type 2 diabetes.

The study raised similar concerns about three treatment targets set by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence - for glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol control.

Under the age of 40, just 14.7% of those with type 1 diabetes met these targets and just 24.3% of those with type 2 diabetes.

The difference from elderly patients was less marked for these treatment targets - which were achieved in 25.5% of those with type 1 disease and 45.1% of those with type 2 disease.

The audit involved more than two million people with diabetes in England and Wales together with 70.6% of GP practices.

Researchers said there were big differences in rates of checks across the UK.

Dr Bob Young, who led the audit, said: "This year's report has shown that there is age inequality for the care and treatment received by patients with diabetes.

"Younger people are receiving substantially worse routine care and treatment than older patients and yet will live longer with their diabetes. They are therefore most at risk of developing complications that will affect their health and could lead to mortality."

[Audit]

Tags: Diabetes | Elderly Health | Infancy to Adolescence | NHS | UK News

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