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Annual figures show diabetes in children up by 1,000

The number of children suffering from diabetes is up by 1,000 on over the last year according to a report.

 

The National Paediatric Diabetes Audit has revealed there is also a ‘worryingly high’ number of young people aged 12 and over showing signs of potentially serious complications linked with the disease.

It’s figures show that almost 27,000 children and young people aged from 0-25 years cared for in Paediatric Diabetes Units were registered with diabetes in 2013/2014.

That is compared with just over 25,000 the previous year.

It’s analysis found that children and young people living in the most deprived areas are likely to fare less well in terms of diabetes control compared to those in more affluent areas.

It revealed that white ethnic groups achieve better control of their diabetes compared to other ethnicities.

Just over 18 per cent of children and young people had “excellent” diabetes control compared to just over 15 per cent in 2012/13.

Dr Justin Warner, clinical lead for the report said: “On the one hand the picture is positive; the quality of care for children and young people with diabetes is improving and we’re getting better at ensuring care processes are met.

“Yet the challenge we face is also growing, with more children being diagnosed with diabetes and some displaying early signs of potentially serious long term health problems.

“This is a lifelong condition where tight overall diabetes control is important to reduce the risk of complications later in life. This requires a close partnership between healthcare professionals delivering care and children and families with diabetes.”

Symptoms of diabetes can vary from person to person.

They include passing urine more often than usual, increased thirst, extreme tiredness, unexplained weight loss and blurred vision.

Nearly one in five children aged 0-11 and one in four over the age of 12 with Type 1 diabetes are classed as obese.

Diabetes UK chief executive Barbara Young said: “We welcome the fact that healthcare for children does seem to be getting better and we recognise that a lot of hard work has gone into making this happen.

But there are concerns about the number of children and young people who are not yet getting the care they need, with some describing it as “hugely worrying”.

Sarah Johnson from Type 1 diabetes charity JDRF, said: “Although we’re pleased to see an increase in the number of children achieving in-range blood glucose control, we’re alarmed by the numbers showing signs of complications at such a young age.

“Improvements in treatment and early interventions to prevent these complications need to be prioritised urgently by the NHS.

“Healthcare professionals must be given the help and resource they need to help their young patients manage a serious, life-long condition.”

For Type 1 diabetes the signs and symptoms are usually very obvious and can develop very quickly, typically over a few weeks.

In Type 2 diabetes the signs and symptoms may not be so obvious, the condition develops slowly over a period of years and may only be picked up in a routine medical check-up.

 

For more information on diabetes visit: http://www.diabetes.org.uk

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