New study highlights potential complications associated with diabetes

by Barbara Hewitt on December 11, 2012

New study highlights potential complications associated with diabetes

People with diabetes in England and Wales are at much higher risk of suffering heart failure than the general population, a new national audit shows. The data from the Health and Social Care Information Centre also shows a 330% greater risk of some complications and that the death rate among people with type 1 diabetes is 135% higher than the national average.

Overall people with diabetes are 65% more likely to have heart failure than the general population, 48% more likely to suffer a heart attack, 25% more likely to suffer a stroke. Diabetic sufferers are also 144% more likely to need dialysis or a kidney transplant, 331% more likely to need a foot amputation, 210% more likely to need a major amputation below or above the knee. The National Diabetes Audit analysed the care of nearly two million people with diabetes in 2010/2011 in England and Wales and this is one of the world’s largest audits.

It also highlights the fact that diabetic sufferers have a 40% higher risk of death than the general population and 65,700 people with diabetes died in 2011, much more that the 47,000 such deaths that were expected. Taking into account patients not captured in the audit, it is estimated there were 22,200 excess deaths in England and 1,900 in Wales among people with diabetes.

The excess risk is much higher among people with type 1 diabetes at 135%, compared to 36% for people with type 2 diabetes. Looking at the patients captured in the audit, this equates to 3,100 people with type 1 diabetes dying in 2011 when 1,300 such deaths were expected, and 60,900 people with type 2 diabetes dying when 44,600 deaths were expected. Women with diabetes also appear to be at greater relative risk of death than men with the condition at 142% for type 1 and 40% for type 2 for women, compared to 130% and 33% respectively for men.

Quote from DiabetesForum.com : “This site has a great list of diabetes complications to help you learn more. I hope you learn some valuable information. “

‘These results highlight the huge impact of diabetes on disability and premature death. Much can be done to reduce these risks if all health care sectors work together with people who have diabetes. Some districts have appreciably lower diabetes related complications than others. Improving treatment for diabetes should be a top priority for all clinical services,’ said audit lead clinician Dr Bob Young, consultant diabetologist and clinical lead for the National Diabetes Information Service.


The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the DiabetesForum.com Community and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please see your doctor before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.

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