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Sunday, March 17, 2013

UK Diabetes Treatment Comes Under Pressure


Diabetes UK, one of the leading UK diabetes charities, recently warned the UK government that diabetes is very quickly running out of control. Official data suggest that 3 million people in the UK have been diagnosed with diabetes and a further 850,000 are potentially living a life under the cloud of diabetes without knowing it.
These are damning figures by themselves although the fact that by 2025 it is estimated that 5 million people in the UK will have diabetes is even more concerning.

Type II diabetes

Of the 3 million people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK around 90% are suffering from type II diabetes which is in the eyes of many people seen as a "lifestyle condition". This lifestyle condition revolves around diet, exercise and general way of life and is putting hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people, at risk of diabetes in years to come. Estimates suggest that an additional 7 million people are deemed at "high risk" of developing diabetes in the UK which would put massive stress upon the UK healthcare system.

Type I diabetes

Type I diabetes is the hereditary form of the condition and while it very often takes a back seat to the figures relating to type II diabetes, experts have noticed a significant increase in instances of type I diabetes of late. There is no rhyme nor reason as to why type I diabetes has shown a significant increase over the last few years and many researchers are now delving deeper into this mysterious occurrence.

Deaths from diabetes

The fact is that diabetes should not be a life-threatening condition if diagnosed and treatment is taken. There is no reason why anyone with diabetes, whether this is type II diabetes or type I diabetes, should face life-threatening episodes after being diagnosed with the condition. However, this is not always the case with UK healthcare now coming under significant pressure.
A number of reports have confirmed disappointing healthcare for both elderly diabetics and young children with diabetes. It seems that the vast majority of the UK government's healthcare funding is being targeted towards those between 20 years of age and 60 years of age, leaving many people with alleged substandard treatment. At this moment in time it is impossible to say with 100% certainty that both young and elderly diabetics are disadvantaged by the healthcare system but the fact that the subject has been brought up by various charities should not be ignored.

Healthcare funding

We have seen a number of new programmes introduced by the UK government both attempting to tackle long-term diabetes and also increasing and improving instances of diagnosis. However, there is some concern that not all health trusts across the UK are "singing from the same hymn book" with many of them picking and choosing which particular diabetes diagnosis programmes they involve themselves in.
Unfortunately, especially for those with diabetes, there is a financial angle to this particular condition as the cost of treating diabetics continues to grow. Some doomsday scenarios suggest that the UK NHS could well be bankrupt by 2050 if the problem of diabetes is not tackled soon. Whether or not these are scare stories remains to be seen, but the fact is that the cost of treating diabetes in the US reached $240 billion in 2012 and this ongoing increase, calculated at 8% per annum, will be replicated in many other areas of the world.
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