Study highlights huge number of diabetics who die from avoidable complications

by Barbara Hewitt on November 7, 2018

A new analysis shows that 500 people with diabetes die prematurely every week in England and Wales, with many of these deaths being caused by avoidable complications.

The examination of data from the most recent NHS National Diabetes Audit report on complications and mortality, shows that the most common complications linked with diabetes that lead to early death are strokes and heart disease.


The study published by charity Diabetes UK also found that men and women between the ages of 35 and 64 with type 1 diabetes are three to four times more likely to die prematurely than those without the condition.

While men and women in the same age range with type 2 diabetes are up to two times more likely to die prematurely.

The analysis report reveals that every week in the UK, some 680 people suffer a stroke as a complication of diabetes and one in five strokes is caused by diabetes, while 530 people suffer a diabetes related heart attack, and there are around 2,000 cases of diabetes related heart failure.

It points out that the devastating complications of diabetes, like amputations, sight loss, kidney disease, stroke and heart disease, some of which can lead to early death, are preventable if people are supported to manage their diabetes effectively.

Since 2017, the Diabetes Transformation Fund has invested more than £80 million in regions across England to improve the care people with diabetes receive, and help them manage their condition.

Now the charity is calling on NHS England to continue its concerted action to improve the quality of local diabetes services beyond 2019, to curb the growing numbers of people dying prematurely because of diabetes.

Diabetes UK chief executive Chris Askew described 500 preventable, premature deaths each week as ‘a harrowing statistic’ and said that it highlights how serious diabetes can be.

‘It’s vital that this seriousness is recognised, and that the NHS continues to fund improvements to diabetes care beyond 2019, as it has been doing through the Diabetes Transformation Fund,’ he explained.

‘The importance of helping people with diabetes avoid preventable complications, which can often lead to death, cannot be overstated. If we want to reduce the number of people with diabetes dying early and unnecessarily the investment and work started in 2017 needs to be continued. Progress is being made and shouldn’t stop now, to ensure the benefits of transformation are fully realised,’ he added.

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

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Ivan November 19, 2018 at 8:50 am

Where is the type1 cure?


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: