Type 2 diabetes is a growing danger not only in the UK, but globally as well. There are an estimated 250 million people with diabetes worldwide, with that number expected to rise to 600 million by 2035, and diabetes-related deaths are expected to rise by 50% in the next ten years. The condition, which disrupts the body's capacity to regulate blood sugar levels, can cause a variety of problems, including blindness, kidney failure, and amputation in extreme cases.
There is no known cure for diabetes, and while it can be treated, prevention is always preferable to cure. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), type 2 diabetes can be prevented by 30 minutes of moderate activity per day and a nutritious diet.
In a 2018 study, a large number of persons in the United Kingdom (63 percent) were classified as overweight or obese. Obesity prevalence grew rapidly between 1993 and around 2000, then slowed. It is evident that if we do nothing now, we will face a situation in which a third of the population will be at risk of having type 2 diabetes.
Figures and facts about diabetes in the UK (courtesy of diabetes.org.uk):
- Diabetes is currently being treated in 4.9 million people in the United Kingdom.
- In the UK, 13.6 million people are now at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- If you have a close relative with diabetes, you're more likely to develop type 2.
- There are now 850,000 persons living with type 2 diabetes who have not been diagnosed.
- Research has consistently demonstrated that a combination of lifestyle treatments, such as nutrition, physical activity, and persistent weight loss, can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by roughly half in certain people.
- Early detection is critical. Complications might start five to six years before a person is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
- Every year, diabetes results in almost 9600 amputations of the leg, toe, or foot.
- Diabetes affects the vision of more than 1,700 people in the United Kingdom each year. Every week, that's more than 30 people and is is one of the primary causes of avoidable blindness in the United Kingdom
- Every week, almost 700 persons with diabetes die prematurely.
- Diabetes affects one out of every six patients in hospital beds, and diabetics are twice as likely to be admitted.
- Diabetes patients are twice as likely to experience depression. And they're more prone to be depressed for longer periods of time.
Ethnicity and diabetes:
Ethnicity has shown to be a considerable factor in diabetes diagnosis. People from the BAME community are twice as likely to be diagnosed under the age of 50 as those who were white, and people with type 2 diabetes who were Asian were 2.5 times as likely to be under the age of 50 than those who were white.
Even in the absence of obesity, black African-Caribbean people have been consistently documented to have severe insulin resistance and higher rates of hypertension than other ethnic groups.
Diabetes and the NHS:
Diabetes costs the NHS at least £10 billion every year, or around 10% of its total budget! Treatment of complications accounts for over 80% of the money spent by the NHS on diabetes, with diabetes patients occupying more than a quarter of beds in some hospitals.
Diabetes patients are twice as likely to be admitted to hospital, putting a huge burden on every hospital trust's bed capacity.
The NHS Health check is a great way to ascertain if a patient has indicators pointing towards diabetes. The NHS Health Check is a free check-up of overall health. It can tell a patient whether they are at higher risk of getting certain health problems.
We know that allocating 20 to 30 minutes for these checks can put pressure on your practice and when you generally only have 10 minutes with your patients, making the most of every minute is crucial. But this is where we can help you and your practice do their part in the nation's fight to prevent diabetes.
With an EK health kiosk in your waiting area, you can ask patients to complete the NHS Health Check pathway on the kiosk prior to their appointment so you spend less time data-gathering when you are face to face. You can spend more time discussing their issue and also see how they really are in themselves.
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